Nature Valley International
Eastbourne, Great Britain
Karolina Pliskova over Elise Mertens
Mertens took out Marketa Vondrousova when I didn’t think she had it in her, but I think Karolina Pliskova is too strong for her. Pliskova’s loss to her twin sister last week should be her worst loss in these two weeks.
Simona Halep over Polona Hercog
Halep completely destroyed Hsieh Su-Wei in the first round and looks better than she did last week. She should have no problem taking out Polona Hercog, who, frankly, isn’t in Halep’s league.
Johanna Konta over Ons Jabeur
Johanna Konta, a hometown favorite, is at the top of her game. She’s looking good, and she’s primed for a run next week in London. Ons Jabeur should be just a sparring partner for her to hone her skills for Wimbledon.
Caroline Wozniacki over Aryna Sabalenka
Woznicacki continues to look better and better the more she plays. She may run out of time before she hits her peak, and her serve still needs improvement, but she should be far more consistent that the Warrior Princess, Aryna Sabalenka. Consistent enough to win this match even if she’s not at her peak.
Angie Kerber over Rebecca Peterson
Kerber is a Grand Slam champion and Peterson is a pretender. Kerber should roll in this one.
Jelena Ostapenko over Ekaterina Alexandrova
Ostapenko has finally started to play better, and to win. If she’s for real, she should beat Alexandrova. If Alexandrova wins, I’ll have no confidence that Ostapenko can put on a show next week.
Kiki Bertens over Anna-Lena Friedsam
Bertens is now an elite player, and as such, she should roll in this match. I mentioned a sparring partner above. Same goes here.