WTA Eastbourne – Aegon International Preview

Eastbourne has a attracted a stellar lineup, with 5 of the worlds top 10 players featuring in what is the strongest warm up tournament for Wimbledon.

The top half of the draw is clearly much tougher than the bottom half. Radwanska and Kerber, who have both had impressive results on grass in the past few years, headline the opening quarter. Both Kerber and Radwanska have been handed dangerous opening round opponents; Kerber will take on Alison Riske whilst Radwanska will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Ekaterina Makarova and Alize Cornet also lurk in what is the toughest section of the draw. Radwanska has been knocked out in the opening round of this tournament in the past two seasons, however she has still managed reach the later stages at Wimbledon on both occasions.

The two highest seeds in the second quarter will be desperate to gain some momentum at Eastbourne. We all know about Caroline Wozniacki’s recent troubles, both on and off the court. The Dane seems to be moving with life, spending time with Serena Williams in Miami after Roland Garros before hitting the practice courts in recent days. The draw hasn't been kind to Wozniacki; she will face Sam Stosur in the opening round. Victoria Azarenka will make her much anticipated return from injury at Eastbourne, it will be interesting to see where she is at, hopefully she can get some wins under her belt heading into Wimbledon. Azarenka has also been dealt a tricky first up opponent, Italian Camila Giorgi.

It is virtually impossible to predict who will come through this half; personally I would love to see Radwanska and Azarenka meet at the semi-final stage.

The third quarter is probably the weakest section of the draw. Jelana Jankovic and Sara Errani are the two seeded players; they are joined in this section by defending champion Elena Vesnina and Roberta Vinci. This section is wide open for several ladies to come through and reach the semi-final stage. I would fancy Jankovic to come through this section of the draw.

The final quarter features former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, as well as Flavia Pennetta. Kvitova has drawn fellow Czech leftie Lucie Safarova in the opening round in what will be an interesting encounter. Heather Watson had a great run in Eastbourne last year, the draw has been rather kind to the Britt who could well have another deep run here.

I fancy Petra to come through this section of the draw, so long as her mindset is right, there is no reasons why she can’t claim her first title of the year at in Eastbourne.

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