Hello from a currently dry Eastbourne! Qualifying for the Aegon International begins on Saturday and main draw action on Sunday so my focus here on mootennis.com will now switch to this tournament. I’ve just arrived, with not much thanks to Southern Trains! If you are training it down to Eastbourne in the next week, please check services online before travelling. The one I was intending to travel on was cancelled and then the one I eventually got on was delayed at Haywards Heath for 20 minutes while we waited for a driver. Southern services are currently affected by high levels of conductor sickness (see more information on the cancellation of services HERE).
I am currently plotting the matches I want to watch in Eastbourne for day one! I’ll be in Eastbourne until at least Tuesday, perhaps Wednesday, and aim to bring you plenty of content and lots of photos. If you have any requests for player photos then please let me know! I’ve already got Bencic, Bacsinszky and Kasatkina on my list. I’ll be blogging regularly but also keep an eye on my social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook where I plan to post more updates and photos…. so do please give them a follow or a like! Read on for some of the matches i’m hoping to watch on Saturday…
Christina McHale (9) v Laura Robson (2nd up on Court 1)
Three Brits have earnt court 1 status with the highest profile match of the day featuring Laura Robson as she continues her comeback from the wrist injury. McHale will be travelling down from Birmingham after her defeat to CoCo Vandeweghe in the second round on Friday. McHale has won her last two matches against Robson including in Rome qualifying last month. Robson will have more chances on grass but will need to play a super consistent match to get the better of McHale.
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (3) v Alison Riske (1st up on Court 2)
Last week’s Nottingham finalist sneaked into the qualifying draw and will be dangerous as a full-on grass court GOAT! Riske won the ITF title in Eastbourne a few weeks back so should have few problems adjusting. Lucic-Baroni is 0-2 on the grass through the last two weeks but can explode into form without much warning! I like Riske though in this match and she has won her last five matches against MLB and all in straight sets.
Louisa Chirico (13) v Yaroslava Shvedova (3rd up on Court 3)
A first career meeting awaits between Chirico and Shvedova. Both suffered tough losses last week; Chirico missed match points in a first round qualifying defeat in Birmingham to Olga Savchuk. Shvedova meanwhile won just four games in a first round match against Daniela Hantuchova in Mallorca. Both will be looking to rebound… anticipating a tight match and definitely one I’m looking to watch!
I’m liking the sound of the TBA matches which feature Sorana Cirstea v Varvara Lepchenko and Alison Van Uytvanck v Kirsten Flipkens, but I’d be surprised if either play tomorrow with Cirstea and Flipkens still in Mallorca. For Cirstea, she will at least be on her way now…