There should be plenty of entertaining tennis in the final at the WTA Eastbourne International. Both Jelena Ostapenko and Anett Kontaveit will surely be determined to get their hands on the trophy at Devonshire Park to secure the perfect preparation for Wimbledon. But who will come out on top?
WTA Eastbourne International Final Prediction
Anett Kontaveit vs Jelena Ostapenko
Head-to-head: Kontaveit 2-0 Ostapenko
There is no doubt that Kontaveit has talent. But the Estonian has struggled to consistently find her best tennis throughout her career. In an era this open, one Grand Slam quarterfinal and one tour-level title is arguably a very poor return for a player of Kontaveit’s ability. But she has looked sharp so far at the WTA Eastbourne International. She opened her campaign with a battling win over Svetlana Kuznetsova, before beating third seed Bianca Andreescu 6-3 6-3.
That set up a quarterfinal clash with the in-form Viktorija Golubic. The Swiss made the better start to the match, but Kontaveit dug in to claim a narrow 2-6 7-6 7-5 win and a place in the semifinals. She was then handed a place in the final when Camila Giorgi retired trailing 4-5 in the first set. Ostapenko too has had to work hard for her spot in the title match. The Latvian scored a dominant win over French Open runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first round, but was tested in her next two matches.
In the second round, WTA Nottingham Open champion Ons Jabeur took the first set off Ostapenko, before the 2017 French Open champion rallied to win 5-7 6-4 6-3. Ostapenko then had to recover from a slow start to get the better of former-world #10 Daria Kasatkina in three sets, 1-6 7-5 6-2. But she was hardly troubled in the semifinals, dismissing Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina for the loss of only five games to reach her first final of the season.
This looks to have the makings of a close contest. They have met once before on grass, with Kontaveit winning 6-1 6-2 in Ilkley in 2015, but Ostapenko has improved considerably in the interim. Still, this looks like a winnable match for the Estonian. Kontaveit’s relatively flat groundstrokes, especially her backhand, make her a tough opponent to face on the grass. Ostapenko, who likes to take big cuts at the ball, could find her particularly difficult to handle.
Prediction: Kontaveit in 3
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