The second day of the 2023 Guadalajara Open saw quite a few casualties, both on and off the court. Karolina Pliskova and Jasmine Paolini were among the seeded players to be sent packing.
Belinda Bencic withdrew hours before her match against Taylor Townsend, while Danielle Collins retired midway through her match against Sachia Vickery. The latter replaced Beatriz Haddad Maia in the draw, who was forced to pull out of the tournament following a freak accident in her room.
The Brazilian suffered numerous cuts on her body after a mishap with the shower door in her room. The injuries don’t appear to be serious for now, but she’ll be taking time to recover nonetheless.
Grand Slam champions Sofia Kenin and Victoria Azarenka were among the victors on Monday. Quite a few big names will be in action on Day 3 of the Guadalajara Open, so here are the predictions for some of the key matches:
#1 – Maria Sakkari vs Storm Hunter
Sakkari has been going through a rough patch over the last few weeks, with a few early losses. Following a first-round exit from the US Open, she decided to take a break, but returned to action rather immediately.
At last week’s San Diego Open, Sakkari received a first-round bye. Up against Camila Osorio in the second round, the Greek led by a set, but her opponent retired due to an injury. She then lost to Emma Navarro in the quarterfinals.
Sakkari was the runner-up at last year’s Guadalajara Open. She’ll now kick off her campaign against Storm Hunter, who’s more of a doubles specialist. Despite her shaky form and confidence, the Greek should be able to win this encounter.
Predicted winner: Maria Sakkari
#2 – Caroline Garcia vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich
Like Sakkari, Garcia is another top player struggling at the moment. She’s also the defending champion at the WTA finals, but is currently 27th in the race. She needs to clinch the title here and finish the season on a strong note in order to qualify for the year-end championships.
Sasnovich defeated Arantxa Rus in the first round of the Guadalajara Open. At her best, she’s capable of challenging higher-ranked players, but she’s also known to fumble her shot at winning quite often.
Back in 2017, Garcia clinched back-to-back titles in Wuhan and Beijing to qualify for the WTA Finals. With her back up against the wall, she might take inspiration from her past achievements and raise her level. This could be another close contest, with the Frenchwoman being favored to make it through.
Predicted winner: Caroline Garcia
#3 – Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Magdalena Frech
Frech defeated Camila Osorio in the first round of the Guadalajara Open. It marked just her 11th main draw win at the WTA level this season.
Alexandrova’s had some good results this year, including a title at the Libema Open and a runner-up finish in Cleveland. With a 29-18 win-loss record for the season, she has performed much better than Frech so far.
Alexandrova did lose their previous and only encounter so far, which took place at the 2018 French Open. However, based on their form at the moment, the Russian will be expected to triumph this time.
Predicted winner: Ekaterina Alexandrova
#4 – Caroline Dolehide vs Sachia Vickery
Vickery lost in the qualifying rounds of the Guadalajara Open but got a second shot as a lucky loser following Haddad Maia’s withdrawal. She took on Danielle Collins in the first round and won the match after the latter retired at the conclusion of the opening set.
Dolehide needed three hours to get past Peyton Stearns in the previous round. She’ll certainly be tried after a lengthy battle, but she’ll still be backed to win against Vickery.
After cracking the top 100 in 2018, Vickery was unable to sustain her form and has been ranked outside the region since then. Dolehide, on the other hand, has improved considerably and is on an upward trajectory.
Both are gunning to reach the third round at a WTA 1000 tournament for the second time. Given their recent results, Dolehide has a better chance of repeating that feat.
Predicted winner: Caroline Dolehide