WTA Eastbourne Day 2 Predictions Including Aryna Sabalenka vs Bernarda Pera

Aryna Sabalenka in action ahead of the WTA Eastbourne International.
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After Monday’s washout, there should be plenty of entertaining action on day two at the WTA Eastbourne International, provided the weather holds up its end of the bargain. A host of star names are set to take to the court and, as ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Heather Watson vs Iga Swiatek. But who will advance?

WTA Eastbourne International Day 2 Predictions

Paula Badosa vs Elina Svitolina

Head-to-head: first meeting

Paula Badosa put together an undeniably impressive clay-court season, reaching the semifinals on home turf in Madrid and the quarterfinals at Roland Garros. But having lost in the last eight Paris in agonising fashion – Tamara Zidansek beat her 8-6 in the third – the Spaniard will need to find a way to reset mentally at the WTA Eastbourne International. She has been done no favours by the draw, however, with second seed Elina Svitolina her first-round opponent.

The Ukrainian has been in indifferent form this season, but she did reach the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2019. Still, it is hard to ignore such a pronounced slump, with Svitolina yet to make a final this season. In her last two outings, she lost in the third round in Paris and in her opener in Berlin. Badosa may not have much grass-court pedigree, but her aggressive style of play should translate effectively to the surface and with Svitolina struggling, this looks like the ideal opportunity for Badosa to bounce back.

Prediction: Badosa in 3
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Elise Mertens vs Cori Gauff

Head-to-head: first meeting

One suspects that this a first-round draw both women would have avoided if possible. Cori Gauff’s French Open campaign may have ended in a disappointing defeat in the quarterfinals, but it was nonetheless a very impressive showing from the American young gun, one she looks well-placed to back up at Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round on debut. But Elise Mertens should not be underestimated, despite a disappointing start to her grass-court season in Birmingham.

The Belgian’s flat, powerful groundstrokes make her a dangerous opponent on fast courts and she should find the surface at the WTA Eastbourne International to her liking. That said, she has not been playing her best tennis of late and has won just two matches since retiring with an injury in the quarterfinals at the WTA Madrid Open in May. With Gauff’s confidence surely sky high after her excellent run of recent results, expect the American to be the player to reach the second round.

Prediction: Gauff in 3
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Ons Jabeur vs Marketa Vondrousova

Head-to-head: Jabeur 1-1 Vondrousova

With this the first meeting between the pair since 2016, their previous encounters can probably be largely discounted here. But their recent respective form should not be overlooked. Ons Jabeur comes into this match fresh from winning her first tour-level title in Nottingham and she will surely have high hopes of a deep run at the WTA Eastbourne International. 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova has not looked quite so sharp.

Her defeat to eventual champion Ludmilla Samsonova in Berlin looks more understandable in retrospect, but the Czech has done relatively little of late to suggest that she can have a big impact on the grass over the coming weeks. Jabeur’s instinctively aggressive game looks well-suited to this surface, with her ability to beat opponents with both pace and feel making her hard to defend against, particularly on the fast, low-bouncing grass. She should have too much for Vondrousova.

Prediction: Jabeur in 2
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Aryna Sabalenka vs Bernarda Pera

Head-to-head: Sabalenka 1-1 Pera

For all her success on the regular tour, it will surely be a growing concern for Aryna Sabalenka and her team that she has still not reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal. Unfortunately for the Belarusian, she looks unlikely to put that right at Wimbledon, with her record on grass markedly worse than on hard and clay courts. Indeed, she has not won a match at the All England Club since her debut appearance in 2017 and was beaten in her opener in Berlin by Madison Keys.

That said, Bernarda Pera is hardly a grass-court specialist either. The American did impress in coming through the qualifying with wins over home hope Francesca Jones and her compatriot Shelby Rogers, but this is a step up in the quality of opposition. One that she may struggle with. Sabalenka was a comfortable winner when they last met in Adelaide earlier this year and although the grass may prove to be a leveller, Sabalenka should have the edge once again.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 3

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