Some of the first round action at the 2021 WTA Monterrey Open will see Caroline Dolehide play Viktoria Kuzmova, Ann Li take on Arantxa Rus and Renata Zarazua play Tamara Zidansek in opening round matches on Monday, March 15. Get the live streaming options along the predictions, preview and head to head for all these matches.
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Caroline Dolehide v Viktoria Kuzmova Preview
In what will be their third meeting overall and first match in main draws of competitions, the 104th-ranked Kuzmova will be up against a player ranked 155th in the world in the form of Dolehide. And in both their previous two matches which came in qualifiers of events, Kuzmova had won in straight sets.
The interesting thing about this match-up is neither player has won a main draw match this season. While Dolehide has still come through qualifiers of tournaments and won one ITF level match in Boca Raton, Kuzmova’s form has been of a bigger concern.
The former world number 43 has played in three tournaments so far, and lost the first round of all three in straight sets. Overall, across the six sets, Kuzmova has won a mere 11 games and while she has faced far stiffer opposition than Dolehide, this could level the plot a bit.
Which is also why it comes as no surprise Dolehide starts a bookmaker’s favourite here.
Dolehide v Kuzmova Tip
Games Handicap Kuzmova +3.5: 5/6 (bet365)
Ann Li v Arantxa Rus Preview
In what will be a repeat of the first round match from the US Open last year, Ann Li will look to build on her win over Arantxa Rus in that meeting when they face off yet again in this opener in Monterrey.
Li, who is ranked 72nd in the world, has had an impressive start to the season with six wins and one defeat, all of which came in Melbourne. She was a semifinalist at the Grampians Trophy, a tournament which was called off after the semifinal stage.
She followed it up with a third round appearance at the Australian Open where she defeated Alize Cornet before falling to Aryna Sabalenka.
Contrast that to Rus’ performance in 2021, and you would know why Li is 2/5 to win this. Rus has won just one of her five matches this year, having only recently broken her three-match losing streak at Lyon.
Backing Ann Li to win this one too.
Li v Rus Tip
Li to win: 2/5 (bet365)
Renata Zarazua v Tamara Zidansek Preview
Zarazua and Zidansek have played each other twice before and the scoreline reads 1-1 at the moment. However the one point to note here is that while Zidansek’s win had come on clay court, Zarazua clinched their encounter on a hard court.
And both players have shown reasonably similar amount of form, winning few of the opening rounds this season but not going deep enough.
This could be a tough one to call and we could in turn see a three-setter.
Zarazua v Zidansek Tip
Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)