WTA Nottingham Day 1 Predictions Including Donna Vekic vs Harriet Dart

Oceane Dodin in action ahead of the WTA Nottingham Open.

The grass-court swing kicks off in earnest on day one at the WTA Nottingham Open with four intriguing matches on the schedule in the English Midlands. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule. But who will book their place in the second round?

WTA Nottingham Day 1 Predictions

Donna Vekic vs Harriet Dart

Head-to-head: first meeting

Donna Vekic has the advantage in terms of experience coming into this match and a solid grass-court record. But the Croatian has been struggling for form and fitness of late with her ranking having fallen from a career-high world #19 to 90th in the standings. Harriet Dart, meanwhile, broke into the top 100 for the first time in her career earlier in the season, but has since slipped to 114th. She also lost her first grass-court match of the season last week to Nikola Kostic.

That continued a miserable run of form for the Briton, who has lost seven matches in a row since reaching the fourth round in Indian Wells. If Vekic has not been at her best of late, she has been in better form than that and impressed in coming through the qualifying to reach the second round at Roland Garros. She will need to adjust to the different demands of grass-court tennis, but this appears to be a good time to be playing Dart.

Prediction: Vekic in 3
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Heather Watson vs Katie Volynets

Head-to-head: Watson 1-0 Volynets

Heather Watson was beaten fairly comfortably in the first round at the French Open by French wild card Elsa Jacquemot, but the Briton usually saves her best tennis for the grass-court season on home turf. Katie Volynets, meanwhile, has been making slow but steady progress as she adjusts to life as a touring professional and won her first match at a Major a fortnight ago when she upset Viktorija Golubic in the first round at the French Open.

She was not able to back that up against Elena Rybakina, however, losing 4-6 0-6 and she was then beaten 6-4 6-4 by Lulu Radovcic in the first round in Surbiton. With Watson sure to have the crowd behind her and with considerably more experience of grass-court tennis than Volynets, this could be a difficult day at the office for the 20-year-old American. Don’t be surprised if this one goes the distance, but expect Watson to have the edge.

Prediction: Watson in 3
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Zhu Lin vs Jodie Burrage

Head-to-head: Burrage 1-0 Zhu

Jodie Burrage had been in indifferent form to say the least on the clay, but she looked to be playing with renewed confidence last week on the grass courts in Surbiton. The Briton reached the semifinals beating, amongst others, Zhu Lin en route. This may be a more competitive affair, with Zhu having had an opportunity to adjust to the grass, but Burrage looked very sharp in Surbiton and clearly enjoys playing on grass. Zhu, in contrast, has generally struggled on the surface, though she did reach the second round at Wimbledon last season. Still, with Burrage surely full of confidence, expect her to have too much for Zhu once again.

Prediction: Burrage in 3
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Oceane Dodin vs Tereza Martincova

Head-to-head: first meeting

Neither Oceane Dodin nor Tereza Martincova seem particularly well-suited to grass-court tennis, but that may well serve to make this match more entertaining not less. They are at least relatively well-matched, with Martincova the higher ranked of the two but Dodin boasting the better record in 2022. Dodin comes into this match after a dispiriting first-round loss at the French Open to Andrea Petkovic, but she did reach the semifinals in Strasbourg a week earlier.

Martincova also crashed out in the first round at the French Open, losing 3-6 4-6 to Shelby Rogers. She does have a better record on the grass than Dodin, however, and last year reached the third round at Wimbledon. Dodin, in contrast, has made the main draw at the Championships just once having failed to come through the qualifying three years in a row. There is still time for Dodin to improve her grass-court skills, but expect Martincova to have the edge here.

Prediction: Martincova in 3

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