Straight off a final appearance at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Aryna Sabalenka is going to try to keep her form going in Berlin. In a matchup of two players who won’t get to play at Wimbledon, the Belarusian takes on Veronika Kudermetova. We also split the rest of the day’s matches between two other articles. One features Ons Jabeur vs Karolina Muchova and the other features Garbine Muguruza vs Andrea Petkovic. Who do you think will prevail in this blockbuster and other first-round clashes?
Alycia Parks vs Qinwen Zheng
Head-to-head: First meeting
The big question here is how well will Qinwen Zheng adapt to grass courts? The Chinese has never played an official match on the surface and has just taken the title at a clay ITF in Valencia. The form is clearly there, the talent is undeniable, but can she beat an opponent who’s already got five matches on the lawn this year? It can get much trickier than it should, that’s for sure. For what it’s worth, just on the eye test she should enjoy playing on grass.
Prediction: Zheng in 3
Anna Kalinskaya vs Alize Cornet
Head-to-head: Kalinskaya 1-0
Anna Kalinskaya took this one at Indian Wells earlier this year and should be perceived as the favorite here again. The Russian lost in the second round as ‘s-Hertogenbosch last week, losing a solid match to Belinda Bencic. Alize Cornet has never fared that well on grass. Even though she made the fourth round at Wimbledon once, her all-time win/loss record at the London slam is just 44%. The veteran is capable of great wins every once in a while, but the surface and her recent health issues make this unlikely.
Prediction: Kalinskaya in 3
Veronika Kudermetova vs Aryna Sabalenka
Head-to-head: Sabalenka 3-0
Aryna Sabalenka might be holding a decisive head-to-head lead against Veronika Kudermetova, but does it mean this one will come easy? Probably not as the Russian is enjoying a very solid campaign this year and lost in the semifinals at ‘s-Hertogenbosch. The player who took her out in the Netherlands, Ekaterina Alexandrova, also handled Sabalenka quite comfortably in the final. The Belarusian’s big weapons have historically worked very well on grass and it makes her the favorite ahead of this one.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 3
Main Photo from Getty.