WTA Birmingham Final Preview: Ana Ivanovic v Barbora Zahlavova Strycova


Sunday’s Aegon Classic final will be contested between Ana Ivanovic and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.  Birmingham always features many surprises with the WTA players making their first steps onto the grass, so it may be regarded as a surprise in itself that the number one seed, Ivanovic has reached the final.  It seems to be a common thought that Ivanovic’s game doesn’t translate well on to the grass.  This week though, she has been in scintillating form and has yet to drop a set all week.  It is worth noting that she hasn’t had to play anyone inside the world’s top 30.  In the semi-finals, Ivanovic defeated Zhang Shuai, 6-2 6-2.

Zahlavova Strycova reached the final with a 7-6(5) 6-1 victory over Casey Dellacqua.  The Aussie had led 5-1 in the first set tiebreak before surrending control of the tiebreak as BZS then raced through the second set.  It is a real surprise to see Zahlavova Strycova reach the final of this premier event.  Her funky game, funky in the sense that it is so different to the majority of the WTA players, lends itself well to the surface as she is a great net player.  Ivanovic leads the H2H 2-0 with victories in Linz (2010) and Indian Wells (2011).  Ana won both matches in straight sets and didn’t drop more than three games in any of those sets.  Ivanovic has to be the overwhelming favourite to win her first ever grass court title.

Prediction: Ivanovic d. Zahlavova Strycova in 2 sets

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