Day 3 at the WTA Mutua Madrid Open features some mouth-watering matches for tennis fans. Out of the 8 tennis players below, 7 of them have been or are in the world’s top 10, and they all vying for a place in the third round of the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open. Here are my daily previews and predictions:
Fun fact: A total of 6 singles Grand Slam titles is shared between these players- more if you include doubles Grand Slam titles!
Mutua Madrid Open Day 3 Predictions
Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Belinda Bencic
Head-to-head record: 1-1
Both players won comfortably in their previous match to earn their place here in the second round. Most notably, Kuznetsova upset the tenth seed, Aryna Sabalenka, in the straight sets, and is looking to make back-to-back upsets.
Clay is not Bencic’s favorite surface, as it is clear from her last few tournaments she has struggled to get the results she has wanted. Kuznetsova, also being a former Roland Garros champion, knows her way around a clay court and will have the slight advantage coming into this match.
Prediction: Kuznetsova in 2
Petra Kvitova vs Kristina Mladenovic
Head-to-head record: Kvitova leads 6-1
Ever since Mladenovic hired Sascha Bajin as her coach, she has started to play well in singles again. The Frenchwoman has come through qualifying and is yet to drop a set in the three matches she has played.
Kvitova also played well in her previous round. She won in straight sets and never got troubled. She is playing with full confidence currently and is a favorite to win at the end of the week.
This is their first meeting on clay, and Kvitova has won the last five matches in a row without dropping a set against Mladenovic. Also, the conditions at Madrid really suit Kvitova, and she should advance through to the next round without much trouble.
Prediction: Kvitova in 2
Ashleigh Barty vs Danielle Collins
Head-to-head record: First meeting
Barty is arguably one of the most improved players on the WTA Tour this year. Out of the 4 tournaments she has played this year, she has reached at least the quarter-finals in 3 of them.
Collins is also a player not to be underestimated. She has beaten and troubled players such as Kerber and Kvitova earlier this year. However, one of the biggest weaknesses in her game is her consistency- she can go toe-to-toe against the world’s best in one match, then completely have an off day in her next.
Barty has not played a match since Miami, so she can be a bit rusty, but I still expect her to get through this match.
Prediction: Barty in 2
Victoria Azarenka vs Sloane Stephens
Head-to-head record: 3-3 all
Neither player is having a brilliant season. Stephens has struggled to string back-to-back wins throughout the season, and Azarenka has struggled to play consistently at high level. The biggest concern with Azarenka is that whether she is fully fit to compete or not. In her last two tournaments, she has had to retire in both of her matches due to an injury.
A tough match to predict as both players are struggling in form at the moment. Azarenka has a slight advantage as she reached the final at Monterrey and quarterfinals at Stuttgart, both on clay a few weeks ago.
Prediction: Azarenka in 3
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