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French Open Day 1 Women’s Predictions Including Maria Sakkari vs Karolina Muchova

Irina-Camelia Begu in action ahead of the French Open.

It promises to be an entertaining start to the French Open, with 20 matches on the schedule on day one in Paris. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Magda Linette vs Leylah Fernandez, Jessica Pegula vs Danielle Collins, Aryna Sabalenka vs Marta Kostyuk and Daria Kasatkina vs Jule Niemeier. But who will book their place in the second round?

French Open Day 1 Predictions

Maria Sakkari vs Karolina Muchova

Jim: This is a tough early test for Maria Sakkari. The Greek is typically very good on the clay, but it has been a largely disappointing season for the 27-year-old and that trend has continued on the terre battue this Spring, though she did reach the last four in Madrid. But the slow, heavy conditions in Paris won’t suit Karolina Muchova’s attacking style. Sakkari should have just about enough.

Prediction: Sakkari in 3

Damian: What a draw with Muchova being one of the top three most dangerous unseeded players in the field (along with Marketa Vondrousova and Mirra Andreeva in my book). She’s already taken out Sakkari at Roland Garros last year and she could do it again. No need to convince anyone of the sort of threat she is when healthy.

Prediction: Muchova in 2

Andreas: Bring your popcorn for this one. Muchova is a former Grand Slam semifinalist, and will surely bring her crafty game to keep this one close. The Greek has been up and down in 2023, but she should just get over the line.

Prediction: Sakkari in 3
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Nadia Podoroska vs Jessika Ponchet

Jim: Nadia Podoroska hasn’t really threatened a repeat of her run to the semifinals in 2020, but this is still a match she should be winning. Jessika Ponchet will have the crowd behind her, but the Frenchwoman is inexperienced at this level – having never reached the top 100 or won a match at a Grand Slam.

Prediction: Podoroska in 2

Damian: Podoroska made the semifinals here three years ago, but she’s really far away from that formJessika Ponchet will be in a better match rhythm for sure, although her upside definitely isn’t as high. Maybe in front of the home crowd, she can pull off the upset here?

Prediction: Ponchet in 3

Andreas: While the matchup on paper looks to swing in favor of Podoroska, she’ll have to face a French opponent and a home French crowd. That should pull Ponchet through to the second round, and she’ll be especially motivated to get her first-ever Grand SLam main-draw victory.

Prediction: Ponchet in 3

Sara Errani vs Jil Teichmann

Jim: Sara Errani, now 36, is not the force she once was. But she is a former-French Open finalist for a reason and will not make this easy for Jil Teichmann. The Italian still has one of the better sliced backhands on the WTA Tour and excellent hands at the net. Still, Teichmann’s easy power should give her enough to hit through Errani.

Prediction: Teichmann in 3

Damian: Jil Teichmann has already lost almost all of her clay swing points from last year and interestingly, Sara Errani is now the higher-ranked player. Is that really accurate? Probably not at this stage of their careers, although the 2013 runner-up will surely do what she knows best and leave it all out there on the court.

Prediction: Teichmann in 3

Andreas: Eleven years after her loss to Sharapova in the French Open final, Errani made a good run at a WTA 125K in Italy to boost her confidence. Teichmann hasn’t had a great 2023 season, and look for the Italian to capitalise and move into the second round.

Prediction: Errani in 2

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Irina-Camelia Begu vs Anna Bondar

Jim: Irina-Camelia Begu has a solid record n the clay and at Roland Garros – she has twice made it to the second week in Paris including last year. Another run to the last 16 may not be on the cards in 2023, but expect the Romanian to have the beating of Anna Bondar.

Prediction: Bondar in 3

Damian: Both players made a run in either Madrid or Rome, but Bondar was injured in Paris last week. Begu can control the rallies so well on a clay court and she usually doesn’t lose first round here. Unless she plays a very dangerous opponent, but that’s not the case here.

Prediction: Begu in 2

Andreas: Begu has been underrated this season and made a solid run to the quarterfinals of Madrid. On the other hand, Bondar retired from her last tournament two weeks ago.

Prediction: Begu in 2

Main photo credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports


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