Belinda Bencic in action ahead of the WTA Qatar Open

WTA Madrid Day 1 Predictions Including Bencic vs Begu

The WTA Mutua Madrid Open is upon us, and we’re set for a thrilling draw stacked with big names and title contenders. Plenty of exciting Say 1 match-ups are in store, and we will be offering up our predictions on who will be heading into the second round. We also look at the rest of the day’s matches, split between three articles. One features Paula Badosa vs Veronika Kudermetova, the second headlines Amanda Anisimova vs Aryna Sabalenka, and the third features Karolina Pliskova vs Marie Bouzkova. So, who will progress?

WTA Madrid Day 1 Predictions

Sorana Cirstea vs Nuria Parrizas-Diaz

Head-to-head: First meeting

Cirstea got her clay court season off to a great start by reaching the Istanbul semifinals last week. When she’s on form she can be a tricky customer on this surface and it wouldn’t be a shock to see her have a good week here with the absence of some of the bigger names.

Parrizas-Diaz will have the benefit of the home crowd spurring her on, but match-up wise things may get a little tough. She has less experience at this level and though the home advantage may help her grab a set, Cirstea should be too strong here.
Prediction: Cirstea in 3

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Cori Gauff vs Anna-Karloina Schmiedlova

Head-to-head: First meeting

Schmiedlova did well to come through qualifying, but she faces a stern test in Cori Guaff here. Despite her young age, Gauff has remained amongst the elite ever since her breakthrough and is always a threat at any tournament. With so much experience already under her belt at this level, this shouldn’t be too tricky for her.

Gauff is yet to prove herself on clay like she has on grass and hard, but she’s got the talent and the drive to do just as well on the surface. With so much more regular main draw experience than her opponent, she shouldn’t have too many issues here.
Prediction: Gauff in 2

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Petra Martic vs Liudmilla Samsonova

Head-to-head: Martic 4 – 0 Samsonova

Martic leads the head-to-head very comfortably, with two of these victories coming on clay. However, Samsonova is still on the rise and is playing some wonderful tennis, and this match is very likely to go differently. The 23 year old is improving at a great pace and though she lost to Martic at Indian Wells, the tide may be turning in this matchup.

Martic had to qualify for this event and went out in the second round of the Istanbul open, which doesn’t inspire huge confidence over her form. Samsonova on the other hand played brilliantly in Stuttgart last week, reaching the semifinals coming within a game of taking down the imperious Iga Swiatek. Given the form of both players, I expect the Russian to get her first win over the Croat.
Prediction: Samsonova in 3

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Irina-Camelia Begu vs Belinda Bencic

Head-to-head: Begu 1 – 0 Bencic

Begu may lead the head-to-head, but their only match occurred in Birmingham back in 2016. Given how long ago this was and the fact this is on clay, their previous meeting gives no indication of this match. Bencic has come a long way since then and is finding her feet as a consistent player after her excellent gold medal win at the Olympics.

Though Bencic hasn’t shone in previous years on clay, she was superb in Charelston where she took the title. Begu has had some good results on clay, but the qualifier is up against it here. When Bencic is on, she’s very tough to deal with given her easy access to power. Bencic will expect a good week from herself here, and I expect here to get off to a good start.
Prediction: Bencic in 2

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