Fixture: (1) Emma Raducanu vs Daria Saville
Date: February 22
Tournament: Abierto Akron Zapopan 2022
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Guadalajara, Mexico
Category: WTA 250
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt
Prize money: $239,477
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Emma Raducanu vs Daria Saville preview
Top seed Emma Raducanu will take on former top-20 player Daria Saville in the first round of Abierto Akron Zapopan 2022 in Guadalajara.
Raducanu is back in action this week after her second-round exit at the Australian Open last month. The Brit received widespread recognition after her historic triumph as a qualifier at the 2021 US Open, but has struggled to bag consistent results since then. She has managed just three wins across five tournaments since the New York Major and will be hoping to see a shift in fortunes in Guadalajara.
The 19-year-old's ranking, however, has continued to rise over the past few months. With barely any ranking points to defend until Wimbledon later this year, Raducanu has climbed to No. 12 in the WTA rankings.
Daria Saville returned to the tour after an injury-induced sabbatical last year. Her ranking saw a massive dip as a result, and she is currently ranked No. 627 in the world. The Aussie has therefore entered the WTA 250 event in Guadalajara under a 'protected ranking'.
Saville started the 2022 season on home soil in Adelaide, where she beat the likes of Caty McNally and Katie Boulter to make the main draw. She is, however, still on the hunt for her maiden tour-level win in 2022 and will be hoping to cause an upset in the first round in Guadalajara.
Emma Raducanu vs Daria Saville head-to-head
This will be the first meeting between Raducanu and Saville, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Emma Raducanu vs Daria Saville prediction
With both Raducanu and Saville struggling to find their form, this matchup could prove to be a long-drawn-out tussle. Raducanu will hope to push Saville further behind the baseline with her aggressive ball-striking and hence thwart her defense.
Both players' serves have been vulnerable in the past few months, with excessive double faults often disrupting their momentum. Raducanu, however, showcased remarkable potential in that department during the US Open, and will be looking to regain consistency on serve this week.
If the 19-year-old can stay assertive during rallies and cut down on her unforced errors, she should be able to sneak out a win.
Prediction: Raducanu to win in three sets.