Nature Valley International Eastbourne Predictions
Day 7 – Eastbourne Predictions
Wozniacki d. Sabalenka in two sets – Judging from what Sabalenka said about feeling fatigued and almost retiring from the semifinal, I suspect she will have little in the tank to contend for the title. She’s also aiming for her first title and will be feeling some nerves – meanwhile, Wozniacki is way more experienced and will definitely put in a solid display. Woz in two sets.
Day 6 – Eastbourne Predictions
Radwanska d. Sabalenka in three sets – I’ve thought over this for so long… Both players have been mightily impressive this week – Sabalenka scored a huge win over defending champ Pliskova in the QFs, while Radwanska has been super solid in her three matches in Eastbourne. I was very impressed with Sabalenka who was playing with a lot of controlled aggression in the first set against Pliskova; while she went on a mental lapse in the second, she continued to fight in the decider from 1-4 down to reach her first Premier semifinal. Sabalenka was looking to come forward and adopt some slices and drop shots, which is a great tactic on a grass court. She looks like she’s settling down on the green stuff, but she has played a lot of tennis this month, having entered in the ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Mallorca events in both singles and doubles. After the epic against Pliskova I’m sure she’ll be feeling some fatigue. Same goes to Radwanska though, but for other reasons – obviously this is Aga’s first tournament since April and just recovering from the injury, she is sure to feel some physical strains. Especially against the power of Ostapenko yesterday, Radwanska was scrambling for every shot and looked fatigued at the latter end of the set. However, I’m going with the Pole for this – she’s obviously the more experienced player at this stage of a tournament and seems relaxed on court this week. Sabalenka plays similarly like Ostapenko, but has less experience and will be competing for her first ever Premier final. If Sabalenka plays with controlled aggression and stay patient in rallies, I think she can win, but I suspect she might go for too much on the big points, and thus Radwanska’s defensive skills and experience might come out trumps.
Wozniacki d. Kerber in three sets – Kerber leads the head to head 8-6, having won their only meeting on a grass court, back in 2014. I only watched the first set of Wozniacki-Barty and the Dane seemed more aggressive and solid in her strokes, compared to Kerber who seemed to fight through an epic against Daria Kasatkina yesterday. While Kerber is the more comfortable player on a grass court, I haven’t been too impressed with her matches of late, but she does possess a little more power than Wozniacki and that could be key. The head to head is so tight in this one that you never know who’s going to come up trumps in their matches, and this time it is the same as well. Instinct is Wozniacki, but cheering for Angie…
Day 5 – Eastbourne Predictions
Ka.Pliskova d. Sabalenka in three sets – Pretty intrigued by this match-up. I think Pliskova’s aggression has toned down over the years and Sabalenka will mostly likely be the aggressor and dictate play. I watched Sabalenka’s win over Mertens and as expected, there were many winners but also errors too from her. I think Pliskova will be too solid for Sabalenka and eek out a win.
Barty d. Wozniacki in two sets – Watching the first two sets of Wozniacki-Konta, I was disappointed with how the Dane mostly resorted to defense and let Konta dictate majority of the points. Wozniacki does have quite a few loopholes in her game on grass and Barty should be able to expose them with her arsenal of shots, especially the serve and lethal slice. If she isn’t too tired from playing so many tournaments, I think Barty’s grass court prowess will come through.
Ostapenko d. Radwanska in three sets – Expecting this to be a really messy match. Both players are at their best on grass (for different reasons though) and Ostapenko’s power is going to be really brutal on a grass court. Radwanska’s second serve will definitely be attacked and the Pole will really have to rely on her defensive and anticipation skills to not get overpowered by the Latvian. This one will likely come down to Ostapenko’s level – she played well against Buzarnescu so I’m slightly edging towards her.
Kerber d. Kasatkina in three sets – Kasatkina leads the head to head 3-2, but this will be their first match on grass, where Kerber thrives on. Kerber does have trouble in this match-up as Kasatkina does not give her a lot of pace to work with and redirect shots. The only reason I’m going for Angie is because of her grass court credentials – don’t disappoint me, Angie! 🙏🏻
Day 4 – Eastbourne Predictions
Kvitova d. Radwanska in three sets – I’m so happy for Aga who is having a successful comeback thus far, saving two match points against Gavrilova to come back to win in three. Aga has shown a lot of signs of resurgence but it’ll be very tough against Kvitova, who is on a six-match winning streak. I do think Radwanska has a slight chance though as Kvitova must feel some fatigue after Birmingham, and also the Czech wasn’t able to produce her best tennis against Bondarenko yesterday. This also applies to Radwanska though, who must be feeling it physically after an almost three-hour epic with Gavrilova. I’m going for Kvitova’s power and confidence right now to win it in three.
Wozniacki d. Konta in three sets – Konta actually leads the head to head 2-0, but this will be their first match on grass, which favours Konta even more. Konta started the season terribly but surprisingly, is staging a revival with three good grass court tournaments in front of her home crowd. Konta was really clutch against Krunic yesterday, where she surprisingly won many points at the net and didn’t miss too much with her groundstrokes. Wozniacki’s playing on her least favourite surface, but her defence is always impenetrable everywhere and Konta will have to produce a peak performance to break down Wozniacki’s game. Favouring the Dane to notch a first win over the Brit.
Ostapenko d. Buzarnescu in two sets – Buzarnescu has played a ton of matches of late and the three-set epic where she recovered from a set and 2-5 down against Kiki Bertens should have taken a toil on her. Even though Buzarnescu won their previous match 6-1 6-3, I’m expecting Ostapenko to exact revenge with a showcase of her power and skills.
Ka.Pliskova d. Strycova in three sets – I’m really surprised to find out that Ka.Plisk doesn’t like playing on grass and this is the reverse for Strycova, who excels on this surface, and is coming off a semifinal appearance in Birmingham last week. Ka.Pliskova though leads the head to head 5-1 as she is usually able to overpower Strycova with her power and serve.
Kerber d. Collins in two sets – Expecting a comfortable victory for Kerber, who looked good on the grass courts against Cibulkova yesterday.
Barty d. Hsieh in three sets
Kasatkina d. Sevastova in three sets
Sabalenka d. Mertens in three sets
Day 3 – Eastbourne Predictions
Kvitova d. Bondarenko in two sets – If Kvitova chooses to play and is not too fatigued from Birmingham, she should win this comfortably.
Konta d. Krunic in three sets – Krunic recently beat Konta in three sets in the US Open last year, but I’m stumped with this one. Konta is generally more comfortable on a grass court and has been showing signs of resurgence, but Krunic won her first WTA title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch a few weeks back and is looking really confident right now. Both can go on a mental wobble, but I’m more convinced that Konta will be able to showcase a solid display.
Goerges d. Sabalenka in two sets – Goerges-Sabalenka is the one for hard-hitting lovers, but in truth I think Goerges will come through comfortably. Her serve is a huge weapon on a grass court and Sabalenka is yet to find her range on the green stuff.
Kerber d. Cibulkova in two sets – Kerber leads the head to head 6-5, and won their most recent match-up 6-3 6-1 in Sydney this year. Kerber’s first round loss to Riske was a little disappointing, but I don’t think it’ll affect her a lot and she’ll be able to produce her counter-punching best in this one. Cibulkova’s form has been up and down of late so I don’t think she’ll have the consistency to outlast Kerber, especially on a grass court, where the German thrives on.
Gavrilova d. Radwanska in three sets – Gavrilova won their previous match-up 6-4 6-4 in New Haven last year, but things should be different on a grass court. Radwanska showed signs of resurgence with a huge 6-3 6-1 victory over Timea Babos, hitting 7 aces and converting on 6/7 break point opportunities in the process. Radwanska was boosted with a huge mental lapse from Babos, but she will likely not be able to get that from Gavrilova who always brings back so many balls and never stops fighting. 50-50 match for me, but I’m edging towards my original prediction of Gavrilova. Cheering for Aga though!
Barty d. Mladenovic in two sets – Mladenovic hit 14 double faults in her match against Watson and that does not convince me that her form is about to improve. Barty should be way too solid.
Ostapenko d. Kanepi in three sets – Battle of the hard-hitters; I expect Kanepi to put up some resistance as Kanepi’s already played a few matches on grass while Ostapenko has none. I’m more inclined to pick Ostapenko in this one though.
Mertens d. Kuznetsova in three sets – Mertens has played a ton of matches in the past month in singles and doubles, and I’m sure the fatigue will come really soon. Question is if Kuznetsova can pounce on this opportunity. Kuznetsova notched a solid three-set win over Sakkari, but she hasn’t been able to find her rhythm post surgery and grass is not exactly her surface.
Van Uytvanck d. Kasatkina in three sets – Expecting Van Uytvanck’s hard-hitting and grass court credentials to shine – I don’t think Dasha’s game really suits the green stuff.
Hsieh d. Rybarikova in three sets – Wonder if Rybarikova will feel some fatigue after her run to the Birmingham final? Both players are super crafty, especially on a grass court. Hoping to catch some of this one.
Strycova d. Vekic in two sets – Strycova has found her rhythm on the grass after a miserable start to the season; unless Vekic can find her range consistently and be able to rally with Strycova, I think it will be a comfortable win for the Czech.
Sevastova d. Dart in two sets – Won’t be surprised if Sevastova goes on a mental wander, but Sevastova for the win.
Suarez Navarro d. Collins in three sets – Tough one to predict as both players haven’t won a match on the grass and are both uncomfortable on this surface. Collins’ aggression could pay off, but I’m backing Suarez Navarro’s more consistent play and more experience on the grass to come through.
Buzarnescu d. Bertens in three sets – I don’t see Bertens thriving on grass. If fatigue doesn’t set in, Buzarnescu to win. Expecting some sort of mental lapse from the Romanian though halfway through.
Day 2 – Eastbourne Predictions
Ka.Pliskova d. Pavlyuchenkova in two sets – Pliskova leads the head to head 5-0, with Pavlyuchenkova losing all ten sets and unable to win more than four games in a set. Pavlyuchenkova’s level can be really up and down and I doubt she’ll have the consistency to outlast Pliskova’s serving and power-hitting.
Giorgi d. Wozniacki in three sets – The head to head is tied at two wins apiece, but this match really depends on Giorgi. Wozniacki’s least favourite surface is grass and is vulnerable on this surface, with her groundstrokes lacking punch. Giorgi is exactly the type of player that can expose Wozniacki’s limitations, but she obviously faces a lot of consistency problems and will need to be largely solid to beat the Dane. I believe she can do it though…
Makarova d. Cibulkova in three sets – The head to head is tied at three wins apiece, but Makarova has won their last three encounters, all in three sets in 2017. Cibulkova is in better form at the moment but Makarova always seems to be able to elevate her game in Eastbourne, holding a 28-9 win-loss record here and winning the title back in 2010.
Mladenovic d. Watson in three sets – Mladenovic leads the head to head 4-2, and the pair last met in 2017 Acapulco where they played for over three hours, whilst amassing over 40 double faults between them. I suspect this could be a similar one – both players are pretty low in confidence at the moment and both players’ form can be equally scrappy. Unsure…
Kr.Pliskova d. Dart in two sets – Kind of surprised Kr.Pliskova is thriving on grass (movement problems) until I saw her record on the grass courts. I think Dart will be unable to contend with Pliskova’s serve and power.
Radwanska d. Babos in three sets – Radwanska beat Babos 6-0 6-1 in their previous encounter last year. Radwanska is playing her first match since Istanbul (back issues), but Babos’ form hasn’t been convincing of late, and has not won back-to-back matches since Monterrey. I’m a bit wary for Aga, though I feel she will be more solid than Babos in this one. Will be cheering very hard for Aga! 🙂
Van Uytvanck d. Stosur in two sets – Stosur’s form has improved a little with a semifinal showing in Mallorca last week, but I have not been impressed by her this year. Van Uytvanck’s grass court credentials to come through.
Kanepi d. Nara in two sets – Kanepi’s power should be too strong for Nara on a grass court.
Buzarnescu d. Peng in two sets – Buzarnescu has done very well in her last two British grass court tournaments, making the quarterfinals in Nottingham and semifinals in Birmingham. Peng’s form has been dire this year but it was mostly due to the knee injuries and surgery. Wonder whether Buzarnescu will be feeling some fatigue, but Peng’s injury problems are a concern.
Krunic d. Sestini Hlavackova in three sets – Surprised to see Andrea back on the singles court and successfully qualifying for the main draw. Sestini Hlavackova’s power can be a problem for Krunic, but I doubt she has the consistency to contend with Krunic’s guile and variety.
Sabalenka d. Vickery in two sets – It does not seem like the grass suits Vickery and Sabalenka’s power can definitely hurt the American.
Vikhlyantseva d. Hsieh in three sets – Unsure about this one – Hsieh is decent on grass but hasn’t been able to win a match on the green stuff just yet. Vikhlyantseva’s power is brutal, especially on a grass court, but I’m not sure if she’ll be able to remain consistent throughout the whole match. A toss-up…