WTA Birmingham 3rd Round Preview: Dellacqua v Stosur and Stephens v Riske

It was confirmed today that Victoria Azarenka has taken a wildcard into next week’s Aegon International in Eastbourne.  The seaside venue has attracted another great line-up with five of the world’s top ten.  Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova, Jelena Jankovic and Angelique Kerber are also set to play and there are still two wildcards up for grabs.  There were rumours that Serena and Venus Williams would join the entry list, but I am starting to think this was a rumour as I would have expected an announcement by now.  I think Heather Watson could get one of them.  I’ll be in Eastbourne from Sunday to Tuesday and I cannot wait!  If you’re a new reader to Moo’s Tennis Blog, HERE is one of my blogs from Eastbourne last year.

1. Casey Dellacqua v Sam Stosur (WTA Birmingham, R3)


Sam Stosur

An all-Aussie battle will finish Thursday’s proceedings on the Ann Jones Centre Court as Casey Dellacqua and Sam Stosur will play each other for the first time since 2003.  Dellacqua has won both their previous encounters, but obviously not much can be read into those wins considering they took place over a decade ago!  Dellacqua is putting together a pretty great year.  The number two Australian finished 2013 at number 130 in the world and is now sitting pretty at 43.  After reaching the last 16 at the Australian Open, Casey reached the quarter-finals of Indian Wells and the third round of Miami.  She has enjoyed two very convincing wins in Birmingham, beating Urszula Radwanska and Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets.

Stosur hit a game of aces in a thumping 6-1 6-3 victory over Christina McHale.  It was a great start for Sam on a surface that she has struggled to get the best out of her game on.  She did perform well at Wimbledon last year though, pushing Sabine Lisicki to three sets in the third round.  Sam is also set to play Eastbourne so should have plenty of matches under her belt for Wimbledon.  This should be a fun watch and Stosur would have to be my tip.

Prediction: Stosur d. Dellacqua in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)

2.  Sloane Stephens v Alison Riske (WTA Birmingham, R3)

Riske 2

Alison Riske

The Birmingham GOAT, Alison Riske will go up against the Grand Slam GOAT, Sloane Stephens in the first match of the day in Birmingham.  Riske has a terrific record at Birmingham, winning 13 main draw matches in her career and twice reaching the semi-finals in 2010 and 2013.  Riske has beaten the Kichenok twins back-to-back and with very similar scorelines too.  In the first round, she beat Lyudmyla Kichenok, 7-6(3) 6-3 and in the second round she took out Nadiia Kichenok, 7-6(4) 6-1.

Sloane currently has the best record of any WTA player at reaching the last 16 of Slams having achieved that feat at the last six.  Her record though at the smaller events has been extremely patchy.  Wednesday’s 6-2 6-4 victory over Francesca Schiavone was only her second win of the year at an event other than a Grand Slam or a Premier Mandatory.  Sloane has had successes on all surfaces and there is no doubt that if she is focused, then she will be the favourite in this match.  Riske loves grass and loves this event.  It’s a risk (sorry), but i’m going for Alison.  If Sloane does prevail though, this will be her best ever opportunity to win a first WTA title.

Prediction: Riske d. Stephens in 2 tight sets

WTA Birmingham 3rd Round Predictions

Ana Ivanovic d. Lauren Davis in 2 sets

Coco Vandeweghe d. Klara Koukalova in 2 sets

Zhang Shuai d. Petra Cetkovska in 3 sets

Timea Babos d. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in 2 sets

Kirsten Flipkens d. Aleksandra Wozniak in 3 sets

Daniela Hantuchova d. Kimiko Date-Krumm in 3 sets

ATP Queens Predictions

Sam Querrey d. Stan Wawrinka in 2 tight sets

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. Marinko Matosevic in 2 sets

Grigor Dimitrov d. Edouard Roger-Vasselin in 3 sets

Alexandr Dolgopolov d. Jarkko Nieminen in 2 sets

Kevin Anderson d. Sergiy Stakhovsky in 3 sets

Andy Murray d. Radek Stepanek in 2 sets

Feliciano Lopez d. Kenny De Schepper in 2 very tight sets

Tomas Berdych d. Adrian Mannarino in 2 sets

ATP Halle 2nd Round Predictions

Rafael Nadal d. Dustin Brown in 2 tight sets *INTERESTING!*

Steve Johnson d. Teymuraz Gabashvili in 3 sets

Ivo Karlovic d. Yen-Hsun Lu in 3 sets

Roger Federer d. Joao Sousa in 2 sets

3 thoughts on “WTA Birmingham 3rd Round Preview: Dellacqua v Stosur and Stephens v Riske

  1. Moo- why do you keep predicting stephens will lose?! she was pretty awesome today and In light of that, and, as long as she stays switched on (yes I know this isn’t a given with sloane at smaller tournies) she will win this for sure


    • Didn’t have the fortune of watching today’s match and as I said in the preview, a risk! As I am sure you are aware, there is never a given with Stephens based on her form away from the big tournaments. Riske is also great on grass and has a tremendous record at this event.


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