WTA Birmingham Classic Day 1 predictions including Halep vs Tsurenko

It’s a pretty stacked draw for a WTA 250 event at the Birmingham Classic this week. The top eight seeds are all in the world Top 50, including the likes of Jelena Ostapenko, Simona Halep, Camila Giorgi and Elise Mertens. There are no byes in the draw of 32, so it will be difficult to see who emerges victorious. We are predicting some of the matches on Day 1, including an enticing showdown between Simona Halep and Lesia Tsurenko. We also look at the other matches of the day 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 appears more and more frequently, Kaja Juvan is not a player to be played with. The 21-year-old is on the rise fast: she made a dizzying run to the Strasbourg final before the French Open (remember that epic with Angelique Kerber?) and though she has lost early in tournaments all year, she has rarely lost against someone playing below their best level.

Meanwhile, Lauren Davis is pulling the plug on touring, trying to find something resembling 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 free points herself. There’s no question that Davis could give Juvan a hard time, but we think the Slovakian will eventually have too many options for her on the hard courts of Birmingham.
Prediction: juvan in 3

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Harriet Dart vs Camila Osorio Serrano

Head to head: Osorio Serrano 1-0 Dardo.

Camila Osorio Serrano is as stable as it seems. However, in conditions like these, stability won’t make a difference. We’re talking about players with underpowered serves who are at a disadvantage on grass: Osorio Serrano’s is as weak a serve as any in the Top 50.

This will almost certainly give Harriet Dart the chance to take the match by the scruff. After saving match points against Camila Giorgi last week in Nottingham, she might feel more confident than ever. So we think she’ll jump at the chance to beat a Top 50 player on a surface she’s practiced 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 putting up a strong fight, regardless of the conditions. Pay no attention to her losing streak: Ruse is forever ready for a battle.

However, on the other side of the net will be Wang Qiang. Wang has been quietly gathering under-the-radar results from the tour as he looks to slowly build his rankings back close to his career #12 in the world. Ten wins in the top 150 is nothing to scoff at – this kind of consistency might prove too much for Ruse, who will be fighting, but he should be impressed by Wang’s easy power off the ground.
Prediction: Wang in 2

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Simona Halep vs. Lesia Tsurenko

Head to head: Halep 8-0 Tsurenko.

Lesia Tsurenko has been winning a lot of matches. She’s 43-14 on tour Y routequalification level since the beginning of 2021… Look at the classification of the inclusion tour. Tsurenko is playing fantastic against players who fail to capitalize on their serve, but they are found out against the best returners on tour. Early-round losses to Ash Barty and Iga Swiatek at the Australian Open and French Open, respectively, come to mind as he struggled to win service points let alone service games. Breaking down his record from early 2021 onwards…

  • Vs players outside the top-100: 38-9
  • Vs 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’s going to be an uphill battle from the first ball – we see no reason why Halep shouldn’t play a decent level that should be too much for the Ukrainian to handle.
Prediction: Halep in 2

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