Garbine Muguruza vs Alison Riske, Birmingham R2 Preview

WTA Aegon Classic, ?? Birmingham R2 Preview
(6) ?? Garbine Muguruza vs ?? Alison Riske

Garbine Muguruza continues her Birmingham campaign on Thursday with a potentially difficult second round clash against Alison Riske. The Spaniard scrapped through her opening round match of the tournament against Elizaveta Kulichkova and will need to produce an improved performance if she is to get past grass-court specialist Alison Riske. This will be the first career meeting between Muguruza and Riske.

Muguruza laboured through her opening match in Birmingham, beating Elizaveta Kulichkova 6-3 3-6 6-4. Grass has traditionally been Muguruza’s least preferred surface despite the Spaniard reaching the Wimbledon final in 2015. Muguruza does have the ability to dominate on this surface given her strong serve, baseline game and a willingness to come to the net.

Alison Riske is having a poor season having won back-to-back matches at a WTA event on just 1 occasion since the Australian Open. However, the grass court swing is usually the time of the year that the American is able to produce her best tennis, unlike Muguruza, grass is Riske’s preferred surface which will give the American some hope heading into their second round clash on Thursday in Birmingham.

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Riske has a decent chance here, mainly because of the surface. However, Muguruza should still be too strong for the American. Muguruza’s superior serve and willingness to come forward are two major factors in this match-up, in a first-strike battle, Muguruza will be too powerful when it matters most.

Prediction: Garbine Muguruza to defeat Alison Riske in 3 sets

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