(6) Lucie Safarova vs Alison Riske
Lucie Safarova opens her 2015 Wimbledon campaign against the dangerous Alison Riske. Safarova has had made a magnificent start to the season and will enter this match full of confidence, however she is unlikely to have things all her own way in this one.
Lucie Safarova has been totally hit or miss at Grand Slams this year. Lucie was knocked out in the first round at the Australian Open but reached her first Grand Slam singles final at Roland Garros.
Safarova made a disappointing start to her grass court season, defeated by Dominika Cibulkova in two tight sets in her opening round match at Eastbourne. Nevertheless, last years semifinalist is one to watch out for over the next a fortnight. Grass must be considered Lucie’s most dangerous surface, her leftie serve and punishing groundstrokes are even more effective on the quicker surface.
Alison Riske also thrives on the grass courts, however her recent form hasn’t been very convincing. Riske has struggled throughout 2015 and suffered early round exits in Birmingham and Eastbourne. The American is yet to win a Grand Slam match this year, suffering first round exits in Melbourne and Paris.
Riske will need to produce her very best if she is avoid another first round loss at a Grand Slam. The American is certainly capable of causing an upset, she famously defeated Petra Kvitova in a stunning performance at the US Open in 2013.
Lucie Safarova won the only previous encounter between the two, prevailing 6-4 6-2 earlier this year in Madrid. This will be the first time Lucie Safarova enters a Grand Slam with Semifinal points to defend, there will no doubt be some nerves involved, especially in the opening couple of rounds. However, Lucie has been able to handle her nerves much better over the last couple of seasons.
Although Riske is a dangerous opponent, an upset here is highly unlikely. Safarova is much more consistent and enters this match with far more confidence than her opponent. There may be some nervy moments but Lucie should win this one in straight sets.
Prediction: Lucie Safarova to defeat Alison Riske in 2 sets