🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham R2 Preview
🇷🇺 (6) Daria Kasatkina vs. 🇺🇦 Lesia Tsurenko
Daria Kasatkina and Lesia Tsurenko will go head-to-head for the first time on Thursday with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham. Kasatkina and Tsurenko both claimed hard-fought opening round victories in Birmingham and will be ready for another battle here in a match-up that should feature a lot of lengthy rallies.
Daria Kasatkina progressed to the second round in Birmingham with a gutsy 3-6 7-5 6-4 win over Kristyna Pliskova. Kasatkina was outplayed for the majority of the first two sets but received a lifeline when Pliskova failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set. Kasatkina managed the situation well, adapting her game to get the better of a very difficult opponent on an unfamiliar surface for the Russian.
Lesia Tsurenko earned her spot in the second round with a hard-fought 7-6 7-5 victory over Heather Watson. Tsurenko was the better player in the important moments, especially in a one-sided opening set tiebreak where Tsurenko barely put a foot wrong. The Ukrainian is a very streaky player, she has a tendency to randomly have great weeks, perhaps that will be the case in Birmingham?
It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out as the pair do battle for the very first time.