August 20, 2022

It’s a nice draw for a WTA 250 event at the Birmingham Classic this week. The top eight seeds are all in the World Top 50, including players like Jelena Ostapenko, Simona Halep, Camila Giorgi and Elise Mertens. There are no byes in the draw of 32 so it’s going to be tough whoever comes out on top. We’re anticipating a few of the matchday one matches, including a tantalizing match between Simona Halep and Lesia Tsurenko. We also look at the day’s other matches in a separate article.

WTA Birmingham Classic Day 1 Predictions

Lauren Davis vs. Kaja Juvan

Face to face: First meeting.

One of those names that comes up more and more frequently, Kaja Juvan is not a player to be messed with. The 21-year-old is rising fast – she had a blistering run to the Strasbourg final before the French Open (remember that epic with Angelique Kerber?) and even though she lost early in tournaments throughout the year, she rarely lost to anyone playing below her best.

Meanwhile, Lauren Davis continues her tour, trying to find something close to the form that took her to No. 26 in the world five years ago. While she prides herself on making life difficult for her opponent, it’s been incredibly difficult for her to make deep runs in tournaments when she doesn’t get any free points herself. There’s no doubt that Davis could make life difficult for Juvan, but we think the Slovak will eventually have too many options for her on Birmingham’s fast courts.
Prediction: Juvan in 3

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Harriet Dart vs. Camila Osorio Serrano

Head-to-head: Osorio Serrano 1-0 Dart.

Camila Osorio Serrano is about as stable as it gets. In conditions like these, however, stability won’t make a difference. We’re talking about players with underpowered serves being at a disadvantage on the grass – Osorio Serrano is as weak a serve as any in the Top 50.

This will almost certainly give Harriet Dart a chance to take the game by the scruff of the neck. After saving match points against Camila Giorgi last week in Nottingham, she could be feeling more confident than ever. It is therefore believed that she will jump at the chance to beat a Top 50 player on a surface she trained on in her home country.
Prediction: Dart in 2

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Elena-Gabriela Ruse vs. Wang Qiang

Face to face: First meeting.

Although Elena-Gabriela Ruse’s game is tailor-made for clay court tennis, if she is fit and healthy, we don’t see her going out without fighting hard no matter what the conditions. Pay no attention to his match losing streak – Ruse is still ready for a battle.

On the other side of the net, however, will be Wang Qiang. Wang has quietly put together some under-the-radar results on the tour as she slowly seeks to climb her rankings back up to near her career high of No. 12 in the world. Ten top-150 wins are not to be overlooked – that kind of consistency might prove too much for Ruse who will fight but should be blown away by Wang’s easy power from the floor.
Prediction: Wang in 2

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Simona Halep vs. Lesia Tsurenko

Head-to-head: Halep 8-0 Tsurenko.

Lesia Tsurenko has won many matches. She is 43-14 on tour and roundqualifying level since early 2021… Notice the round-qualifying inclusion. Tsurenko plays fantastically against players who fail to capitalize on her serve, but get discovered against top returners on tour. First-round losses to Ash Barty and Iga Swiatek at the Australian Open and French Open, respectively, come to mind as she struggled to earn service points, not to mention games. on duty. Breaking his record since the start of 2021…

  • Against players outside the top 100: 38-9
  • Against top 100 players: 5-15

Unfortunately, Simona Halep is pretty much in the same league as Ash Barty and Iga Swiatek in the return. It will be an uphill battle from the first ball – we see no reason why Halep shouldn’t be playing at a decent level which should be too much for the Ukrainian to handle.
Prediction: Halep in 2

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