The WTA 250 event in Cluj-Napoca gets underway with an exciting day of action. Clara Tauson will be hoping to recover from her very tight loss in Linz last week to the eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko. There are six matches taking place on the opening day, and three of them are predicted here. But which players do you think will win on Day 1?
WTA Cluj-Napoca Day 1 Predictions
Laura Siegemund vs Nuria Parrizas Diaz
Head-to-head: First meeting
Parrizas Diaz started the year very strongly by winning the Canberra Challenger. Yet, the Spaniard’s level has dropped since then, and she failed to qualify for the Australian Open or the WTA 500 tournament in Linz. Siegemund has begun the year well with good doubles performances at the United Cup, followed by making the second round of the Australian Open. This could be a very tight battle at WTA Cluj-Napoca. Overall, Siegemund gets a slight edge. The variety she possesses with her net play, in particular, could be key, with Parrizas Diaz preferring to find a consistent rhythm from the baseline.
Prediction: Siegemund in 3
Arantxa Rus vs Greet Minnen
Head-to-head: Rus 2-2 Minnen
Minnen is yet to win a WTA match this season in qualifying or in a main draw. That means drawing the No. 1 seed Rus in Cluj-Napoca could be particularly problematic for her. Rus won her first WTA title last year in Hamburg but her form then dropped considerably throughout the rest of the 2023. She has recaptured some of that form at the start of this season by reaching the quarterfinal in Hobart and winning her first-round match at the Australian Open. Minnen is dangerous if she finds her range and an upset is not out of the question. However, it is hard to go against Rus after the start to the season Minnen has endured.
Prediction: Rus in 3
Clara Tauson vs Nadia Podoroska
Head-to-head: Podoroska 1-0 Tauson
Tauson’s loss in a final-set tiebreak after holding match point against Jelena Ostapenko will have been a very bitter pill to swallow. The positive for the Dane is she will undoubtedly climb the rankings if she plays near that level most matches. This contest represents a good opportunity for her to try and build some momentum. Podoroska prefers to play on clay, although she did defeat Tauson on the hard courts of Cleveland last year. Her playing style has the potential to frustrate her powerful opponent, but Tauson still gets the edge in this clash in Cluj-Napoca.
Prediction: Tauson in 3
Main Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea – USA TODAY Sports