(30) Belinda Bencic vs Tsvetana Pironkova
Perhaps the most intriguing first round matchup this year sees Belinda Bencic take on Tsvetana Pironkova. The Bulgarian is one of the most dangerous unseeded floaters in the draw, it’s unfortunate that she has been drawn against Belinda in the opening round.
Belinda Bencic arrives at Wimbledon full of confidence on the back of reaching the final in s-Hertogenbosch and claiming her first WTA title at the Aegon International in Eastbourne. The 18-year-old produced a stunning performance to rocket past Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 4-6 6-0 in her third career final.
Radwanska played a stunning second set, hitting an incredible 24 winners, it seemed as though the Pole would cruise to the finish line. However it was Bencic who raised her level in the final set, totally outplaying her more experienced opponent.
The former junior Wimbledon champion has shown that grass is clearly her most dangerous surface, her serve is particularly more effective on the grass courts. There is still room for improvement when Bencic begins to be more proactive and comes to the net more often.
Tsvetana Pironkova has also shown good form in the lead up to Wimbledon. Pironkova defeated Dominika Cibulkova and Samantha Stosur on route to the quarter-finals in Eastbourne before succumbing to Agnieszka Radwanska.
Wimbledon has by far been Pironkova’s most successful Grand Slam, the Bulgarian famously reached the semi-finals in London back in 2010 and reached the quarter-finals in 2011.
This will be the first career meeting between Tsvetana and Belinda, it promises to be a fascinating match between two ladies that thrive on the grass courts.
Although Bencic’s form has been great, I think she has probably played too much tennis in the lead up to Wimbledon, Belinda has played three weeks in a row leading up to Wimbledon and will only have two days to recover for her opening round match.
This is a tough match to call, however I’m going to side with Tsvetana. It could be hard for Bencic to regroup and prepare for such a tough opening round match.The Bulgarian has more experience on the big stages and will be the fresher of the two heading into this one.
Prediction: Tsvetana Pironkova to defeat Belinda Bencic in 3 sets