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WTA Guadalajara Day 1 Predictions Including Karolina Pliskova vs Ena Shibahara

Karolina Pliskova BNP Paribas Open

It’s time to begin the main draw action at the 2023 WTA Guadalajara Open Akron. Fourteen matches are on the slate for Day 1, including Sloane Stephens vs Ann Li covered in a separate article. In this article, we will look at Ajla Tomljanovic taking on Taylor Townsend in just her second match of the season, while Karolina Pliskova takes on doubles specialist Ena Shibahara. Who do you think will come out on top?

WTA Guadalajara Day 1 Predictions

Cristina Bucsa vs Kristina Mladenovic

Head-to-head: Bucsa 1-0

Kristina Mladenovic is so far off her best this year and her being in the main draw of a WTA 1000 isn’t truly a signifier of her return to form (the main draw cut-off was very low). She has had a few solid hard court runs recently though with an ITF final in Porto and a semifinal in Brasilia. It’s nothing that would put her as the favorite against a player like Cristina Bucsa right now, but it wouldn’t be a massive shocker if Mladenovic was competitive here.

Prediction: Bucsa in 3

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Jasmine Paolini vs Louisa Chirico

Head-to-head: First meeting

Jasmine Paolini is sitting at a career-high World No. 33 right now in what’s been her best season yet. The weaker WTA 1000 draw could provide her with another nice opportunity, although we’ll have to see how she looks in the unique Guadalajara conditions. She’s playing with a lot of confidence right now though, so she should be able to trust her forehand and stay on top of the rallies against Louisa Chirico.

Prediction: Paolini in 2

Taylor Townsend vs Ajla Tomljanovic

Head-to-head: First meeting

This one’s a tough call as Ajla Tomljanovic has still only played one match in 2023, beating Panna Udvardy at the US Open. The Australian has been struggling to return to the courts after an injury and we don’t really know how she’ll look physically and whether she’ll be able to shake off the rust in time. Someone who doesn’t give you much rhythm like Taylor Townsend might not be the ideal opponent for her right now.

Prediction: Townsend in 3

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Karolina Pliskova vs Ena Shibahara

Head-to-head: First meeting

Ena Shibahara is one of the best doubles players in the world, but she maintains a very decent level in singles as well. This is already her best tournament of the year in the latter competition with straight-set wins over Whitney Osuigwe and Sachia Vickery in the qualifying. She can cause some issues for Karolina Pliskova too, who might have a hard time controlling her shots off the ground. The serve of the Czech should get her through eventually.

Prediction: Pliskova in 3

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


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