🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham QF Preview
🇸🇰 Magdalena Rybarikova vs. 🇸🇮 (Q) Dalila Jakupovic
Magdalena Rybarikova and Dalila Jakupovic will open proceedings on quarter-final day at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham. This will be the first career meeting between Rybarikova and Jakupovic, an unexpected match-up at this stage of a premier level event. Who will rise to the occasion and book their spot in the semi-finals?
Magdalena Rybarikova has confirmed her grass court prowess in Birmingham this week. The 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist started the week with a 6-2 6-3 upset win over the 3rd seeded Karolina Pliskova in what was a near-flawless performance from the Slovakian. Rybarikova was not quite as impressive in the second round but was good enough to defeat a fading Kristina Mladenovic 3-6 6-2 6-1.
Dalila Jakupovic has already won 5 matches in Birmingham having come through the qualifying draw, the Slovenian is the last qualifier left in the tournament. Jakupovic claimed 3 solid wins in a tough qualifying draw, beating Jasmine Paolini, Sachia Vickery and Bernarda Pera. Jakupovic started her main draw campaign with a dramatic 3-6 7-6 6-1 win over Elise Mertens, Jakupovic saved 5 match points in the second set before cruising to victory in the third over a dejected opponent. Jakupovic secured her spot in the quarter-finals thanks to Naomi Osaka retiring injured their second round match.
Rybarikova enters this match as a strong favourite but Jakupovic is playing some of the best tennis of her career and has nothing to lose at this stage of the tournament.