??⬛ Prague Open – R1 Preview + Prediction
? (wc) Eugenie Bouchard vs. ?? (8) Veronika Kudermetova
An interesting opening round clash on day 1 of the 2020 Prague Open sees the 8th seeded Veronika Kudermetova come up against Canadian wild card Eugenie Bouchard. This will be the first match for back for both since the tour restart.
On paper this should be a very one-sided contest, Kudermetova is ranked almost 300 places above Bouchard, the Russian currently sits at world number 40 whilst Bouchard’s spiralling ranking is all the way down to 332. However, I suspect Bouchard has a decent chance here with a few factors working in the Canadian’s favour.
Bouchard has been busy during the official tour shutdown. Bouchard was involved in a couple of exhibition events in the USA, whilst the results weren’t quite there for Bouchard, the signs were decent. Bouchard competed well with some good players and is now working with Rennae Stubbs, a partnership that could rejuvenate the career of the former Wimbledon finalist.
Conversely, Veronika Kudermetova hasn’t played a single exhibition match during the tour shutdown.
It was Bouchard who emerged victorious in the only previous meeting between the pair, a 7/5 6/0 victory on clay in Gstaad in 2018.
I’m going for the upset here. This is an important match for Bouchard, it would be a big disappointment for her to get a wild card, travel all the way to Prague and lose in the first round. Bouchard has been practising in Prague for a few days and unlike Kudermetova, Bouchard is battled hardened heading into this match given all the exhibition events she has played over the last few months. Kudermetova has the type of attacking game that might malfunction coming off limited preparation.