The crazy nature of tennis is often visible in just how early top-quality action returns after one of the four Grand Slams. The US Open has barely been wrapped up and yet we’re already kicking off the main draw action at the 2023 WTA Kinoshita Group Japan Open Tennis Championships in Osaka. One of the matches of the day is Harriet Dart taking on Linda Fruhvirtova. We also look at the rest of the day’s matches in a separate article. Who do you think will advance?
WTA Osaka Day 1 Predictions
Nadia Podoroska vs Yue Yuan
Head-to-head: First meeting
Yue Yuan started her Asian swing a little earlier than most player in this draw, but it was a quick opening-round loss to Haruka Kaji in an ITF event in Tokyo. The Chinese has a lot of untapped potential though, especially when she plays smart and selects her shots well along with the forehand shotmaking. This should be a pretty close one with Nadia Podoroska not being as much of a clay specialist as people think. Yuan probably has a more explosive arsenal though.
Predictions: Yuan in 2
Valeria Savinykh vs Anna-Lena Friedsam
Head-to-head: Friedsam 1-0
Their first match came in Linz almost eleven years ago, so this will be quite a throwback. Anna-Lena Friedsam took that one 6-2 6-2 and remains the favorite after all this time. However, maybe Valeria Savinykh can keep it close. The Russian has already scored two wins in the qualifying here, which is bound to give her some familiarity with the playing conditions. Friedsam’s gritty game is likely to stop her eventually though.
Predictions: Friedsam in 3
Harriet Dart vs Linda Fruhvirtova
Head-to-head: Dart 1-0
Harriet Dart is famous for performing better when playing for her country and part of her solid Billie Jean King Cup record is a win over Linda Fruhvirtova last year. The Brit could have a fine chance at repeating it with her opponent on a 7-match losing streak now. The ranking discrepancy between them is quite huge, but Fruhvirtova might be about to drop her Chennai title points. The way she’s been playing recently, it’s possible she won’t defend any of that.
Predictions: Dart in 3
Main Photo Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports