WTA Eastbourne Day 1 Predictions Including Katie Boulter vs Tereza Martincova

Katie Boulter in action ahead of the WTA Eastbourne International.
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It should be an entertaining first day at the WTA Eastbourne International with eight first-round matches on the schedule at Devonshire Park. Every player in the draw will doubtless be determined to put together a good run on the grass ahead of Wimbledon and, as ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match, including Kaia Kanepi vs Nuria Parrizas Diaz. But who will reach the second round?

WTA Eastbourne Day 1 Predictions

Danka Kovinic vs Magda Linette

Head-to-head: Linette 2-1 Kovinic

Kovinic, mostly a threat on clay courts, has had a decent season by her standards. The Montenegrin reached third rounds at the Australian Open and Roland Garros while picking up an ITF 100 title at Wiesbaden. On grass, Kovinic struggles though. Most years, the 27-year-old just plays Wimbledon and carries a 3-9 career record on the surface. Linette has had a bit of a down year, the highlights being quarterfinals at Charleston and Strasbourg or her first-round upset over Ons Jabeur at the French Open.

The Pole is no grass-court expert but has a much better career record than Kovinic, reaching a couple of third rounds at Wimbledon and an ITF title. Linette is 1-2 on grass this season, only beating Katarzyna Kawa while taking losses to Tereza Martincova and Dayana Yastremska. Despite that, Linette’s grass level is simply higher than Kovinic’s, making the 30-year-old a solid favorite.

Predictions: Linette in 2
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Sara Sorribes Tormo vs Panna Udvardy

Head-to-head: first meeting

Sorribes Tormo has taken a great step forward in the past two seasons, turning into a solid Top 50 player. The Spaniard has not quite replicated her 2021 form but showed promise in a Madrid quarterfinal run. Despite being a clay court player, Sorribes Tormo has had some decent results on grass, reaching the semifinals at Bad Homburg last year and reaching an ITF 100 final in 2018. Udvardy’s incredible 2021 season with five ITF titles propelled her from outside the top 300 onto the main tour.

The Hungarian has struggled to adjust this season, beginning 2022 with a seven-match losing streak. The 23-year-old has done a bit better in the clay season, reaching quarterfinals in Marbella and Karlsruhe. This will be Udvardy’s second grass event in her career after Wimbledon qualifying last year. Sorribes Tormo is a level above the Hungarian on any surface so it should not be different on grass.

Predictions: Sorribes Tormo in 2
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Marie Bouzkova vs Shelby Rogers

Head-to-head: first meeting

Bouzkova is enjoying a strong season with a 22-8 record. The Czech reached her third WTA final in Guadalajara though her clay season was a bit all over the place. The 23-year-old started strong in Madrid with a third-round run as a qualifier but missed Rome to attend her university graduation in the United States. At the French open, Bouzkova was eliminated before her second round due to a positive Covid-19 test. The Czech has a 12-11 record on grass, though most of it comes from qualifying or ITF tournaments with her best result being a Birmingham quarterfinal from last season.

Rogers may not be having as good a year but has looked strong on grass in the last two weeks. The American beat Elena Rybakina en route to the semifinals in Den Bosch before taking a three-set loss to Sorana Cirstea in Birmingham, where the Romanian would go deep. Rogers did not have any deep runs on grass before Den Bosch, a couple of third rounds at Wimbledon being her previous best, but the 29-year-old certainly showed potential. It is a close call but I will lean towards Bouzkova here.

Predictions: Bouzkova in 3
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Katie Boulter vs Tereza Martincova

Head-to-head: Martincova 1-0 Boulter

Boulter is trying her best to take advantage of the grass season and the wildcards from British events that come with it for her. The 25-year-old has done a decent job, qualifying to reach the second round in Nottingham before her quarterfinal run in Birmingham last week. Boulter has had some good results on grass in previous years as well, reaching the quarterfinals at Nottingham last year as well as the final of a strong ITF 100 in 2018. Martincova had a breakthrough season last year, beginning 2021 without ever being in the top 100 and finishing inside the top 50.

Getting results regularly has been tougher for the 27-year-old this year, carrying an 11-14 record. The Czech had her best result of 2022 two weeks ago in Nottingham though, reaching the semifinals where she had to retire due to a knee injury. Martincova had a strong grass season last year, with quarterfinals at Nottingham and Birmingham as well as the third round at Wimbledon. Despite that, the knee injury concerns me enough to go with Boulter as my winner.

Predictions: Boulter in 3

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