2016 champion Timea Bacsinszky opens against Johanna Larsson at the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem, while defending champion Elise Mertens has an all-Belgian derby against Kirsten Flipkens and second seed Hsieh Su-Wei faces an old foe in Daria Gavrilova. Scroll down for full order of play.
Alex Macpherson
April 29, 2019

MATCH POINTS

Former champion Timea Bacsinszky is 5-1 against Johanna Larsson - including two victories here in Rabat, 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals en route to her 2016 title and 6-3, 6-1 in the first round a year later - their most recent meeting. The Swede's only success against Bacsinszky was a 7-5, 6-2 win in the first round of New Haven in 2016.

Defending champion Elise Mertens faces a fellow Belgian for only the second time in a WTA main draw. Previously, she defeated Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of Madrid last year; today she will play Kirsten Flipkens for the first time.

No.2 seed Hsieh Su-Wei reached the only clay semifinal of her career in Rabat last year, but is 0-2 against first-round opponent Daria Gavrilova. The Australian's previous wins were 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Doha qualifying in 2015 and 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of Birmingham in 2017. Gavrilova comes into this week with just a 2-8 record in 2019, with first-round losses at every tournament she has entered except Indian Wells.

A freshly crowned WTA champion will have her winning streak ended in the first round as Istanbul winner and No.5 seed Petra Martic comes up against Lugano titlist Polona Hercog. Martic leads the head-to-head 2-1, taking their Biella ITF W100 semifinal in 2009 and Bogota second-round in 2011, both in straight sets, before Hercog got a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 win on the board in the first round of the 2016 Bol 125K.

Last year's runner-up Ajla Tomljanovic is yet to drop a set to qualifier Fiona Ferro in two prior meetings; indeed, the No.4 seed double bagelled Ferro in the first round of the Dubai ITF W100 in 2017 before the Frenchwoman managed a more respectable 6-4, 6-1 scoreline in the first round of Hiroshima last year.

In doubles, Burundi's junior World No.25 Sada Nahimana will compete alongside home player Lina Qostal; Nahimana, who fell in the first round of qualifying 6-2, 7-5 to Martina Trevisan, is the first player from Burundi to compete in a WTA tournament.

ORDER OF PLAY

CENTRE COURT (starts 11am)
Daria GAVRILOVA (AUS) vs HSIEH Su-Wei (TPE) [2]
[WC] Timea BACSINSZKY (SUI) vs Johanna LARSSON (SWE)
Johanna KONTA (GBR) [7] vs WANG Yafan (CHN)
[WC] Elise MERTENS (BEL) [1] vs Kirsten FLIPKENS (BEL)
Alexa GUARACHI (CHI) / Sabrina SANTAMARIA (USA) [4] vs Anna DANILINA (KAZ) / Galina VOSKOBOEVA (KAZ)

COURT 1 (starts 11am)
Petra MARTIC (CRO) [5] vs Polona HERCOG (SLO)
Vera ZVONAREVA (RUS) vs Lara ARRUABARRENA (ESP)
[Q] Fiona FERRO (FRA) vs Ajla TOMLJANOVIC (AUS) [4]
Not before 3pm
[WC] Ana BOGDAN (ROU) / Isabella SHINIKOVA (BUL) vs Timea BACSINSZKY (SUI) / Andreea MITU (ROU)

COURT 2 (starts 11am)
[Q] Olga DANILOVIC (SRB) vs Maria SAKKARI (GRE) [6]
Sara SORRIBES TORMO (ESP) vs [Q] Varvara LEPCHENKO (USA)
Magdalena RYBARIKOVA (SVK) vs [Q] Ysaline BONAVENTURE (BEL)

COURT 3 (starts 11.30am)
Georgina GARCIA PEREZ (ESP) / Oksana KALASHNIKOVA (GEO) vs Lesley KERKHOVE (NED) / Bibiane SCHOOFS (NED)
Greet MINNEN (BEL) / Alison VAN UYTVANCK (BEL) vs [WC] Sada NAHIMANA (BDI) / Lina QOSTAL (MAR)
Not before 3pm
Olga DANILOVIC (SRB) / Tamara ZIDANSEK (SLO) vs Monique ADAMCZAK (AUS) / Jessica MOORE (AUS) [3]