The WTA China Open kicks off on September 30, as some of the world’s best tennis players unite in Beijing. Aryna Sabalenka is the top seed at the tournament, as she dethroned Iga Swiatek off the top of the charts after her final run at the US Open. The 2023 US Open champion Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina, and Jessica Pegula are all a part of the star-studded field.
Aryna Sabalenka opens her campaign against a tricky opponent in the form of Sofia Kenin in the first round. She has been handed a pretty tough draw, as she could face Beatriz Haddad Maia in the third round. Elena Rybakina should have smooth sailing at least till the third round, where she could face Barbora Krejcikova. The quarterfinal could feature a mouth-watering clash between two Grand Slam champions Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina.
First Quarterfinal Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka vs. Elena Rybakina
Jessica Pegula has received a bye in the first round, as the fourth seed could face Donna Vekic in the second round. The American has a pretty decent draw, with the prospect of facing Jelena Ostapenko in the third round. Ons Jabeur will open her campaign against a qualifier, followed by potential clashes against Marta Kostyuk and Petra Kvitova in the further rounds. The Tunisian will have her task cut out if she is to reach the last eight, where she could face Jessica Pegula.
Second Quarterfinal Prediction: Jessica Pegula vs. Ons Jabeur
Coco Gauff will return to action in Beijing as she looks to build on her US Open triumph. The third seed faces Ekaterina Alexandrova in the first round. She could face Veronika Kudermetova in the third round, who has received a bye in the first round. Maria Sakkari has also received a bye in the first round, as the Greek has a comfortable draw. She should manage to reach the quarterfinals, where she will face Coco Gauff.
Third Quarterfinal Prediction:Coco Gauff vs. Maria Sakkari
Second seed Iga Swiatek has been handed a tricky draw, as she opens her campaign against Sara Sorribes Tormo. The Polish tennis star could face Victoria Azarenka in the third round, which would be an interesting matchup. Meanwhile, 2023 Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova faces Anhelina Kalinina in the first round, as she could face the ninth seed Caroline Garcia for a place in the last eight.
Fourth Quarterfinal Prediction: Iga Swiatek vs. Carolina Garcia
Aryna Sabalenka should get the better of Elena Rybakina in the first quarterfinals, due to her superiority on the surface. In the second quarterfinals, Jessica Pegula will defeat Ons Jabeur in a close three set battle. This will pit her against the 2023 Australian Open champion in the semifinals of the China Open. Both players are hard-court specialists, but Sabalenka’s sheer power and dominance should get her through to the finals.
Coco Gauff should progress into the semifinals after a comfortable victory over Maria Sakkari. Iga Swiaek will book the last semifinal spot up for grabs, setting up a clash with Coco Gauff. The second semifinal could swing either way, however, given their current form, the American gets the edge in this encounter.
Final Prediction: Coco Gauff vs Aryna Sabalenka
The finals will be a repeat of the 2023 US Open Final, where Gauff emerged victorious in three sets. It is expected Aryna Sabalenka will avenge her defeat from last month, and claim her first China Open title. The final will be a closely contested affair, and it should go right down the wire.
Nirmit Mehta is an aspiring sports writer and enthusiast who loves writing on Cricket, Tennis, Formula One, and Football. He is currently pursuing his education in Finance and is passionate about learning new languages.
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