We have reached championship Saturday in Guadalajara, Mexico, at the 2023 WTA Guadalajara Open. This once 56-woman draw has dwindled itself down to two finalists. One of the finalists, No. 2 seed Maria Sakkari, is back in the final for the second consecutive year. The second finalist, Caroline Dolehide, is amidst one of the most incredible runs of the 2023 WTA season. Will Sakkari claim her second career title, or will Dolehide finish the dream run and grab her first?
WTA Guadalajara Final Prediction
Maria Sakkari vs. Caroline Dolehide
Head-to-Head: first meeting
28-year-old Maria Sakkari entered this tournament as the No. 9 ranked player in the world. Regardless of the result on Saturday, she will leave as world No. 6. 2023 has not been very kind to the Greek. She won just two Grand Slam matches and is yet to win a WTA event. In fact, she has not won a tournament since April 2019, dropping her last six finals. This week in Guadalajara, she has looked unbeatable. Sakkari has yet to drop a set in four matches. She has lost just 20 games all tournament. The No. 2 seed is striking the ball with supreme confidence and has been able to dictate play in every match.
On the other side of the net, Caroline Dolehide is amidst one of the most improbable runs of the year. The 25-year-old American came into the tournament ranked No. 111 in the world. She is currently No. 42 in the live ranking and would rise to No. 29 with a win on Saturday. Coming into Guadalajara, Dolehide had just four tour-level wins in 2023. She has five over the last week and a half. She advanced to her first career WTA singles final with an impressive 7-5 6-3 win over compatriot Sofia Kenin. Dolehide plays a scrappy brand of tennis and has an uncanny ability to raise her level in the most pressure-packed moments of a match. She has saved 24 of 31 break points over her last four matches.
It will be intriguing to see how both players handle the early nerves in this match. The American will look to play as many rally balls as possible, looking to force the Greek into a bevy of unforced errors. That said, Sakkari has been finding lines all week and is playing elite tennis off both wings. If she can keep her first-serve percentage above 65 percent, I struggle to see Dolehide creating many break opportunities. Sakkari is playing with too much confidence to let another final slip through her grasp.
Prediction: Sakkari in 2
Main Photo Credit: Mike Frey – USA TODAY Sports