Spare a thought for qualifiers like Russian world #116 Evgeniya Rodina, playing her fifth match in the second round.
Guts, Guile, and Power Deployed by Rodina in Seeing off Lottner
The 29-year-old Russian had to come from a set behind to beat solid grass court player, German Antonia Lottner. A 3-6 7-5 6-4 first round scoreline underlines that it was hard work for Rodina against a deft opponent. However, the Russian made it hard for herself at times. She did not back her power and positioning by coming into the net much. If she backs herself and does this strategically, then it will put doubt in her opponents’ minds.
Sorana Cirstea stands between Evgeniya Rodina and only her second 3rd-Round Appearance
One of eight Romanians in the main draw, Sorana Cirstea is Rodina’s 2nd round opponent. Rodina won’t worry about the 65 place ranking chasm between the pair. In her mind will be the prospect of making the 3rd round for only the second time in eleven Wimbledon attempts. A potential 3rd round opponent is Madison Keys, but that’s thinking too far ahead. Rodina will focus on one match at a time. Arguably, this is her best chance at piercing 4th round territory in eleven years.
Cirstea defeated 19th seed Magdalena Rybarikova in the first round. She will draw confidence from that. A good match is in prospect.
Rodina vs Cirstea Head-to-head
The head-to-head is a history lesson. You have to go back all the way to 2007 to find the only previous meeting between these seasoned pros. Rodina won the ITF Tour match in Minsk, dropping only two games. However, 11 years have passed, so it’s probably best not to get hung up on this. That said, Rodina will have the knowledge that she has beaten her opponent before and can draw confidence from that.
ITF Experience Paying Dividends for Rodina
Evgeniya Rodina has spent the bulk of the grass season playing ITF-level matches. This has given her needed experience on the surface. It paid dividends in qualifying for Wimbledon. She did so without losing a set. Momentum is on Rodina’s side–she will look to make it pay off against Cirstea.
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