Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Victoria Azarenka
Former world #1 Victoria Azarenka will make her 12th appearance at Wimbledon having gone 2-4 in the last two months, which includes only one warm-up tournament on grass, Mallorca (l. Safarova in the second round). However, the Belarusian has not lost an opening round match at Wimbledon since her debut in 2006.
Azarenka is a two-time semifinalist of Wimbledon, having reached that stage in consecutive years of 2011-12 and falling to the respective eventual champions, Petra Kvitova and Serena Williams. Last year, she played Wimbledon as the second event of her maternity comeback, losing to Simona Halep in the fourth round.
Ekaterina Alexandrova made her debut at Wimbledon two years ago, starting out in the qualifications and ending up in the second round. En route, she survived two marathon matches against Stephanie Vogt (6-4 4-6 14-12) and Harriet Dart (2-6 7-5 13-11) and defeated former world #1 Ana Ivanovic.
Alexandrova, whose biggest title is a $125k at 2016 Limoges (d. Garcia), has a career-best rank of #69, attained last September. Earlier this year at the Australian Open, she defeated Polona Hercog in the opening round, completing the set of first-round wins at all Grand Slams.
This will be the pair’s first meeting. The two-time Australian Open champion, who lost a fairly competitive exhibition match to Petkovic at The Boodles a few days ago, is not looking in her best form. The Russian has gone 3-3 this grass season, including a semifinal at Ilkley (l. Yastremska).
Tennis Picks: Victoria Azarenka 0-2