Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Dalila Jakupovic, Birmingham QF Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham QF Preview
🇸🇰 Magdalena Rybarikova vs. 🇸🇮 (Q) Dalila Jakupovic

Magdalena Rybarikova and Dalila Jakupovic will open proceedings on quarter-final day at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham. This will be the first career meeting between Rybarikova and Jakupovic, an unexpected match-up at this stage of a premier level event. Who will rise to the occasion and book their spot in the semi-finals?

Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia in action at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Magdalena Rybarikova has confirmed her grass court prowess in Birmingham this week. The 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist started the week with a 6-2 6-3 upset win over the 3rd seeded Karolina Pliskova in what was a near-flawless performance from the Slovakian. Rybarikova was not quite as impressive in the second round but was good enough to defeat a fading Kristina Mladenovic 3-6 6-2 6-1.

Dalila Jakupovic has already won 5 matches in Birmingham having come through the qualifying draw, the Slovenian is the last qualifier left in the tournament. Jakupovic claimed 3 solid wins in a tough qualifying draw, beating Jasmine Paolini, Sachia Vickery and Bernarda Pera. Jakupovic started her main draw campaign with a dramatic 3-6 7-6 6-1 win over Elise Mertens, Jakupovic saved 5 match points in the second set before cruising to victory in the third over a dejected opponent. Jakupovic secured her spot in the quarter-finals thanks to Naomi Osaka retiring injured their second round match.

Rybarikova enters this match as a strong favourite but Jakupovic is playing some of the best tennis of her career and has nothing to lose at this stage of the tournament.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

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