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French Open Day 3 Women’s predictions including Azarenka vs Podoroska

We wrap up the first round of women’s singles on Day 3 of the French Open. There are 20 matches scheduled, and as always we here at LastWordOnTennis will share our thoughts on all of them with you. We have divided the matches of the day over five articles. Besides these, the other four include Elena Rybakina vs. Greet Minnen, Qinwen Zheng vs. Alize Cornet, Madison Keys vs. Renata Zarazua and Aryna Sabalenka vs. Erika Andreeva. Jordan Reynolds, Manuel Traquete and Liam McBride predict these matches.

French Open Day 3 Predictions

Mirra Andreeva vs. Emina Bektas

Jordan:
Teen prodigy Andreeva is capable of making a deep run at the French Open, even at such an early stage in her career. This is a good first round draw for her. Bektas is a tough competitor, but she doesn’t have anything close to the level of natural talent that Andreeva has.
Prediction: Andreeva in 3

Manually:
Andreeva is perhaps the WTA’s most exciting prospect and she got a very friendly draw in the opening round here. The 17-year-old star should be able to make quick work of Bektas and perhaps start a real run here.
Prediction: Andreeva in 2

Liam:
Andreeva has been a bit of a feel-good story this past year. At the age of seventeen she has already broken into the Top 40 and seems destined for a career at the top. She will encounter an opponent who is solid in every way, but has no distinguishing weapon. Bektas has been around long enough to make this a difficult task, but Andreeva will get through it.
Prediction: Andreeva in 3

Lucija Ciric-Bagaric vs. Peyton Stearns

Jordan:
Stearns has momentum after winning the title in Rabat heading into this event. That spells danger for Bagaric, as Stearns is very dangerous when her high-powered play is firing on all cylinders. The American will probably feed on the adrenaline of her title and not allow herself any dip.
Prediction: Stearns in 2

Manually:
Both players should have a lot of confidence, with Ciric having achieved excellent qualification to make the main draw and Stearns winning the title in Rabat last week. The latter is generally the better player and should have a slight edge here.
Prediction: Stearns in 3

Liam:
It is Bagaric’s first Grand Slam and the twenty-year-old has a lot of promise. However, in her first match she had wished for an easier opponent. The American will be feeling sky-high after winning the WTA 250 Rabat in one fell swoop, beating Mayar Sherif 6-2 6-1. Bagaric will be competitive because she sometimes plays a tricky game, full of slices and angles. However, Stearns will overcome this with her consistent depth and dominance on her forehand.
Prediction: Stearns in 2

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Magdalena Frech against Daria Kasatkina

Jordan:
There will be a lot of long rallies in this match. Frech will have to play more aggressively than usual to have a chance, as Kasatkina is one of the best players in the women’s game, especially on clay. The Russian’s consistency and athleticism will make it very difficult for Frech to get through in the opening round.
Prediction: Kasatkina in 2

Manually:
Both players have played well this season, but Kasatkina is generally the top level player. It should be a close match, but Kasatkina should be able to pull through in the end.
Prediction: Kasatkina in 3

Liam:
Kasatkina’s counter-punching style suits the clay so well. However, since finishing second in Charleston, she has not been able to find her feet this clay court season. Frech is a difficult opponent with an unorthodox but very effective backhand that can throw away many opponents. Frech has also had a torrid clay-court season, including a 6-0 6-2 defeat to Sloane Stephens. Don’t expect this to be a classic, but it will be raw and fascinating. I’m going with Frech to cause trouble.
Prediction: Frech in 3

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Victoria Azarenka vs. Nadia Podoroska

Jordan:
Clay-court specialist Podoroska’s best chance of beating Azarenka is certainly on the sand. But it’s still unlikely. Although Azarenka’s surface results have declined somewhat in recent years, her overall play on any surface is still more formidable than Argentina’s. The sets will probably be competitive.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2

Manually:
Azarenka is still a long way from her Slam-winning, World #1 days, but she has established herself as a solid Top 20 player who can always be a threat at any event. She is still playing at a very high level and should be able to make this opening round quickly.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2

Liam:
It would be foolish to write off Podoroska, who has history at Roland Garros and reached the 2020 semi-finals. However, that was in noticeably different circumstances with colder fall conditions meaning a lower bouncing ball travels through the air a little slower. In the forecast warm weather, Azarenka’s big hitting style will flourish. She won’t find it easy, but she will book a place in the second round.
Prediction: Azarenka in 3

Main photo credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports