Sunday, 15 June 2014

Eastbourne, Dan Bosch day 1: Vesnina under pressure to defend

Eastbourne schedule of play:

Dan Bosch schedule of play:

Match focus:

Peng Shuai vs. Elena Vesnina

Elena Vesnina is most well known for her mental frailty than her ability to fight. She seemed to have overcome that mental hurdle by winning 2 titles last year, but how she reacts trying to defend is another matter. The Russian will be under the pressure, with so many well ranked players playing this year. It is unlikely that she will defend, but she gets a winnable opening match. Peng is focusing on her doubles so far, but is still a threat in singles. I think this will be a close match, with Elena edging out the Chinese.

Pick: Vesnina in 3 sets

Samantha Stosur vs. Caroline Wozniacki

Stosur's game is not suited for grass despite her big serve. Her spinny strokes do not match well on the slick surface, and the low bounce makes her shanks even worse. Caroline will be the favourite here, but it all depends on whether she has fully healed from her heartbreak. It has been a while since the unfortunate incident, so I believe Caroline will be eager to let her racket do the talking.

Pick: Wozniacki in 3 sets

Elina Svitolina vs. Kurumi Nara

Kurumi's game is more suited for grass with her flat strokes, so it's pretty amazing that she clinched her first title on clay. Against Elina, the Japanese will need to be error-free and not leak too many errors. Kurumi was challenging Jankovic well in Paris, until she started missing the court completely. Let's see if she will lose her concentration here. Svitolina's game on grass should be potent, and will be the favourite to win.

Pick: Svitolina in 2 tight sets

Sure win bets: Agnieszka Radwanska, Garbine Muguruza, Monica Puig
Upset alert: Angelique Kerber, Sloane Stephens, Marina Erakovic

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