2016 WTA Mallorca Preview Predictions
Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
Wimbledon is fast approaching, and the WTA will take to Mallorca for their grass court preparations.
Location: Mallorca, Spain
Prize money: $226,750
Date: June 13th– June 19th
Top eight seeds (ranking)
- Garbine Muguruza (2)
- Jelena Jankovic (24)
- Ana Ivanovic (25)
- Kristina Mladenovic (32)
First round matches to watch
Garbine Muguruza vs Kirsten Flipkens: it is always interesting to see how a first-time grand slam winner performs after winning a maiden major, and with Muguruza it is no different.
The Spaniard returns to her home country in preparation for Wimbledon where she made the final in 2015. She has traditionally struggled to adapt to the different conditions, but she found the formula at Wimbledon and seems much more comfortable on the grass.
Flipkens, though is a very solid grass courter and a former Wimbledon semi- finalist in her own right. The Belgian’s form is not great, but she might take inspiration by returning to the grass.
Kristina Mladenovic vs Sabine Lisicki: On the subject of former Wimbledon finalists and players who suit the grass, Mladenovic has been drawn against Lisicki.
There is something about the grass that brings the German to life no matter how poor her form. Mladenovic, on the other hand, has found form in recent weeks after a poor start to the season.
Lisicki leads the head to head 2-1, but all their meetings have been on hard courts. This match will likely come down to who is in better form.
Top seed Muguruza is clearly the best player in the draw, but there’s some real danger in her section. An opening round match against Flipkens is one of them, and it doesn’t get any easier. Julia Goerges or Monica Puig will await in the second round for the winner. Laura Siegemund has also landed in this section, but her form has dropped as of late. Nao Hibino and Saisai Zheng will look to take advantage of that.
Ana Ivanovic’s ranking has fallen outside the top 20 and she will look to use this event as a good booster for Wimbledon, where she will be hoping to climb up a few places. Pauline Parmentier is her round one opponent, and then the Serb is expected to play a Spanish wildcard in the second round. Ivanovic will likely go untested until the quarter final where she is projected to play Caroline Garcia. The Frenchwoman scored a number of victories over the former world number one last year, but she is not a fan of the grass. Carina Witthoeft will look to send Garcia packing early.
Garcia’s doubles partner Mladenovic lands as the fourth seed and in good form. She will play the ever dangerous but inconsistent Lisicki in the first round. The Frenchwoman will be the favourite to make it out of this section after playing her way into form in recent weeks. Mariana Duque Marino or Alison Van Uytvanck will play Mladenovic in the second round. Eugenie Bouchard is the other seed in the section, but her results recently could lead to a first round exit to Danka Kovinic.
Jankovic is the second seed here, but has a tough draw ahead. Young star Ana Konjuh is not the ideal first round opponent, and the Croatian could cause the upset. Yulia Putintseva will bring her game and feistiness to this section, but she also has a tough drawn with Daniela Hantuchova or Yaroslava Shvedova being her round two opponent.
Muguruza def. Siegemund
Garcia def. Ivanovic
Mladenovic def. Kovinic
Putintseva def. Konjuh
Muguruza def. Garcia
Mladenovic de. Putintseva
Muguruza def. Mladenovic
It is difficult to look past Muguruza here. She might have a post slam hangover, but the Spaniard has a strong mentality and will be motivated to win at home. Mladenovic will continue her good form into this week but will ultimately fall short.