WTA Adelaide International Day 1 Predictions Including Belinda Bencic vs Daria Kasatkina

Angelique Kerber Adelaide International Day One

Although the Australian Open is looming large on the horizon, for now focus remains in South Australia for the Adelaide International. A host of stars are set to play, with the women’s draw headlined by Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep. But who will book their place in the second round on day one?

Adelaide International Day One Predictions

Anastasija Sevastova vs Donna Vekic

Head-to-head: Sevastova 5-0 Vekic

Anastasija Sevastova endured a rather disappointing 2019 season by her high standards and she started off 2020 with a first-round loss at the hands of the USA’s Sofia Kenin in Brisbane. But she may approach her opening assignment at the Adelaide International with some confidence, having beaten her first-round opponent Donna Vekic in all five of their previous meetings, losing only two sets in the process, although they have not played since 2018.

In the intervening year, Vekic has begun to make good on her abundant talent, reaching her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the US Open last September and breaking into the top 20 for the first time. Thus whilst this is clearly a matchup she has not enjoyed, she may well be able to break her losing streak against the Latvian. Both are excellent ball-strikers and athletes, so expect long rallies to be the order of the day. But whilst there are few with more court-craft than Sevastova, it is Vekic who is the bigger hitter and that could well prove to be the difference.

Prediction: Vekic in 3
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Belinda Bencic vs Daria Kasatkina

Head-to-head: Kasatkina 2-1 Bencic

After a stellar 2019, Belinda Bencic will surely be targeting Grand Slam glory in this new decade. However, she will be disappointed to have begun the season with a first-round defeat in Shenzhen, where she was the top seed, at the hands of Anna Blinkova. And she is set to face another tricky test in the first round at the Adelaide International up against former-Indian Wells finalist Daria Kasatkina, who has beaten her twice in three matches.

However, it is worth noting that their most recent match came over two years ago in St Petersburg. Since then, Kasatkina has rather lost her touch, falling to 70th in the world rankings, whilst Bencic has soared up the rankings, winning a slew of big titles and reaching the 2019 US Open semifinals. This is another match that looks destined to feature a number of long rallies, with both women excellent movers. But Bencic has been playing the more assured tennis over the past 18 months. Expect her to prove too strong for Kasatkina.

Prediction: Bencic in 3
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Sofia Kenin vs Viktorija Golubic

Head-to-head: first meeting

Kenin began her season with some impressive performances at the Brisbane International and will surely feel that her second-round exit at the hands of third seed Naomi Osaka was a poor return for her efforts. However, she will enjoy the protection of a seeding in Adelaide, opening her campaign against world #79 Viktorija Golubic in what looks like a winnable match for the young American. The Swiss did play well to come through the qualifying, beating Australia’s Alana Parnaby and Timea Babos of Hungary.

But she was taken the distance by Babos in a match that has surely depleted her energy reserves. And even were that not the case, Kenin would rightly be the heavy favourite heading into this match. The Swiss has a fine one-handed backhand and a useful enough forehand, but there are real weaknesses to attack in Kenin’s game, and the American’s tactical nous is bettered by few. She may lack a major weapon, but that should not prevent her getting past Golubic without too many difficulties.

Prediction: Kenin in 2
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Angelique Kerber vs Wang Qiang

Head-to-head: first meeting

After struggling throughout 2019 to find her best tennis, Angelique Kerber opened her 2020 season with a first-round loss to Samantha Stosur, although she did perform creditably in that 6-7 6-7 defeat. Wang Qiang, meanwhile, scored a standout result at the US Open, reaching the quarterfinals, but perhaps flattered to deceive throughout much of the year. That said, the untimely death of her coach Peter McNamara was a mitigating factor.

She played some good tennis in reaching the quarterfinals in her opening tournament in Shenzhen, but will be disappointed to have lost out narrowly in the last eight to eventual champion Ekaterina Alexandrova. There looks to be little between this pair on paper, so a close match seems certain to be in the offing. But where Kerber may be able to carve out a decisive advantage is in her greater attacking versatility, with her forehand giving her a weapon that Wang may struggle to match.

Prediction: Kerber in 3

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