The WTA final is set in Eastbourne! 14th-seeded and 2011 finalist Petra Kvitova will take on 8th-seeded defending champion Jelena Ostapenko. Neither player has had much trouble reaching the final and have looked like clearly the two best players here. Kvitova dropped just one set for the week, in the third round. Ostapenko has been even more dominant, reaching the final without dropping a set or even being pushed to a single tiebreak. They have different styles of play which will surely be entertaining and lead to a battle. Both players are very deserving of the final and will try to hoist the trophy and send a message to the Wimbledon field.
WTA Eastbourne Final Prediction
Petra Kvitova vs Jelena Ostapenko
Both players’ resumes speak for themselves, though form has been another story. Kvitova has 28 career titles, five of which came on grass–highlighted by two Wimbledon titles. Ostapenko has five titles, with her lone grass court trophy coming here last year. Kvitova has not won a title since March of last year, and Ostapenko was victorious in February in Dubai. Neither way a huge favorite coming into this week. Ostapenko had a good start to the season but has been inconsistent and came into the week with a respectable but not great 16-10 record. Kvitova has been poor by her standards with just a 10-13 record before this week including a loss in her one grass court match on the season.
Getting back onto grass has been massive for her. Her big serve has been a huge weapon, getting broken just twice in four matches, both in the third round to Katie Boulter. She topped Beartiz Haddad Maia in straight-sets in the semifinal, breaking a dominant 12-match win streak by the Brazilian, who was beginning to look unbeatable. Her serve is strong on grass, and when it proves to be a reliable weapon, it gives Kvitova a good chance to win every match. Ostapenko was just 1-1 on grass this year but has performed well on the surface historically, despite poor results at Wimbledon. Ostapenko scored a strong win over Camila Giorgia in the semifinal and has not had a set closer than 6-3 since her first match. She beat a strong list of players, though none of them are known for their grass court prowess.
If previous matchups are any indication, fans should be in for a classic. They have split their career meetings and the last two contests have both gone three sets. They faced off this year in Dubai where Ostapenko won by the slightest of margins 11-9 in a deciding tiebreak after Kvitova served for the match in set two and had a match point in the third. Kvitova’s serve will be the biggest factor in the match. She has shown that she has her best stuff this week, and the former Wimbledon champion knows what it takes to win big matches on grass. Ostapenko is a great player and has won the title here, but she has not shown the ability to beat a player with Kvitova’s caliber on the surface. Kvitova was not a popular pick when the week began, but she has shown she is in form and will win the title after a hard-fought final.
Prediction: Kvitova in 3
Main Photo from Getty.