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WTA Rome Day 1 Predictions Including Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs Leylah Fernandez

Leylah Fernandez BNP Paribas Open-Day 8

From one two-week WTA 1000 to another, we go from Madrid to Rome to start the whole process all over again. Though it’s another clay-court event, the conditions will be different from Stuttgart and Madrid, two faster events that kicked off the WTA clay season. We’ve tried to predict how some of the best players will fare with the transition on the first day of the tournament. We also predict the rest of the day’s matches in two other articles. One features Kaia Kanepi vs Marketa Vondrousova and the second features Jasmine Paolini vs Xinyu Wang. Who do you think will come out on top?

WTA Rome Day 1 Predictions

Barbora Strycova vs Maryna Zanevska

Head-to-head: First meeting

Barbora Strycova was seriously impressive in her first match back as a 37-year-old. She lost to established clay-courter Elisabetta Cocciaretto in two very tight sets, dealing with the rally tempo in fine fashion.

Maryna Zanevska isn’t the kind of player to make things too physical. She’s more comfortable on a faster court, taking the racket out of her opponents hands. On slower courts and with Strycova inspired, this one could be pretty close. The power disparity at this stage of Strycova’s comeback may be the slight difference in the end, however.
Prediction: Zanevska in 3

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Linda Noskova vs Shelby Rogers

Head-to-head: First meeting

There are question marks over Linda Noskova’s form. She’s played one ITF event since Miami which ended in a retirement plus the surface is relatively new to her–if she’s feeling uncomfortable, she may not find her feet quick enough in this match-up.

Shelby Rogers has tightened up her game in the past few years. Though she may have previously been a little exposed on clay, her game is now polished enough for her to boss the extended rallies as well as the shorter ones against inexperienced players. Noskova might light up for a set but Rogers should be able to see this through.
Prediction: Rogers in 3

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Xiyu Wang vs Lucrezia Stefanini

Head-to-head: Wang 1-0 Stefanini (all levels)

The Italian wild card will likely struggle here. Lucrezia Stefanini is yet to make her top 100 debut due to a lack of explosiveness in her game. Her top wins include Linette and Maria, players that are likely to grind their fellow opponents to a pulp but can be ground down themselves.

Xiyu Wang should have the game to win this one. She’s just a little more explosive than her opponent and her lefty strokes can be very difficult to breakdown, as displayed in her electric win over Bianca Andreescu last week.
Prediction: Wang in 2

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Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs Leylah Fernandez

Head-to-head: First meeting

Leylah Fernandez shouldn’t doubt her game in these conditions. Her serve can set up some great angles and she should have just enough power to match her opponent, Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Keep in mind her fantastic quarterfinal run at Roland Garros last year.

Sasnovich is always dangerous with her huge game but this is one Fernandez could take if she’s up for the fight. We think the Canadian will be feeling confident in conditions that suit her style of play.
Predictions: Fernandez in 3

Main Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


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