Preview 2024 WTA Berlin Ladies Open: Sabalenka, Gauff, Rybakina, and Osaka – Zheng first round clash

Monday, 17 June 2024 at 09:25
The 2024 WTA Berlin Ladies Open promises an exciting draw with 15 top-20 players vying for the first WTA 500 title of the grass-swing. Without the 2023 champion Petra Kvitova, the main favorites include Aryna Sabalenka, Coco Gauff, and Elena Rybakina. The tournament will take place at the Rot-Weiss Tennis Club in Berlin from June 17 to 23.
Practically the entire top-10 will be present, with the exceptions of French Open champion Iga Swiatek and runner-up Jasmine Paolini. The 32-player draw will feature thrilling matches from the first round, including Naomi Osaka vs. Qinwen Zheng and Maria Sakkari vs. Victoria Azarenka.

Berlin Preview – Top Half

The top four seeds have first-round byes, led by the new world No. 2 Coco Gauff in the top half. Gauff faces a challenging path, awaiting the winner between Beatriz Haddad Maia (No. 20) and Ekaterina Alexandrova (No. 16). Also in her half, the 8th seed Ons Jabeur will play against China's Xinyu Wang (No. 40), while 2018 Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber (No. 223) takes on teenage sensation Linda Nozkova (No. 28).
The first-round clash drawing the most interest is between world No. 8 Qinwen Zheng and four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka (No. 125). The Chinese player, runner-up at the Australian Open earlier this year, won their most recent encounter a month ago in the fourth round of the Rome Open, while Osaka claimed victory in their first meeting at the 2022 San Jose Open.
The winner of this match could face either Emma Navarro (No. 18) or Katerina Siniakova (No. 31), with a potential quarterfinal matchup against world No. 5 Jessica Pegula.
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Qinwen Zheng at 2024 Australian Open

Berlin Preview – Bottom Half

Aryna Sabalenka's quarterfinal exit at the French Open dropped her to world No. 3. She aims to regain her ranking and prepare well for Wimbledon, starting her grass-swing against the winner between Marta Kostyuk (No. 17) and Daria Kasatkina (No. 14). If she advances, she might face the 2023 Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova, who begins her campaign against Rebeka Masarova (No. 103).
A highly anticipated first-round match will be Maria Sakkari (No. 9) versus Victoria Azarenka (No. 19), two heavyweights on the tour meeting for the fourth time in a head-to-head that Azarenka leads 3-0. Also in this half, Elena Rybakina awaits the winner of the all-Russian clash between Veronika Kudermetova (No. 34) and recent Libema Open s’Hertogensboch champion Liudmila Samsonova (No. 15).

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