?? Hungarian Ladies Open, Budapest R1 Preview
?? Monica Niculescu vs ?? Kirsten Flipkens
Monica Niculescu and Kirsten Flipkens will renew hostilities when they meet at the opening round stage of the Hungarian Ladies Open on Monday. Niculescu and Flipkens have a lengthy history having played each other 7 previous occasions, Flipkens holds a slight 4-3 head-to-head advantage over Niculescu heading into this clash. Nevertheless, it has been Niculescu who has been in the better form of late and has won 2 of the last 3 matches between the pair.
Monica Niculescu is one of few players that is playing in Budapest fresh off playing in Doha last week. It was a good week for Niculescu in Doha, Niculescu came through a tough qualifying draw before reaching the third round. Niculescu notably came from a set down to defeat Maria Sharapova in the opening round in Doha before beating Magdalena Rybarikova in 3 sets. Niculescu’s run came to an end courtesy of a straight set loss to Caroline Wozniacki. It was a very competitive opening set before Wozniacki ran away with the match in the second.
Kirsten Flipkens has not had a great start to the year. Flipkens has not gone past the second round at any event this year. The last event Flipkens competed in was St. Petersburg a few weeks ago where she was smashed in the opening round of qualifying by Deborah Chiesa. Flipkens was more recently involved in Fed Cup action where the Belgian team came up just short against France.
As mentioned above, it is Flipkens who has a 4-3 record over Niculescu. Interestingly, all 7 of their previous matches have all been on a hard court. The most recent match between the pair ended in a 6-3 6-4 win for Flipkens in a Fed Cup tie last year.