By Ros Satar

  • Angelique Kerber [2] v Mirjana Lucic-Baroni
  • Agnieszka Radwanska [4] v Monica Niculescu
  • Dominika Cibulkova [11] v Eugenie Bouchard
MONTREAL, CANADA  Highest seed standing Angelique Kerber leads our WTA Montreal Three to See.

 

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Angelique Kerber [2] v Mirjana Lucic-Baroni – H2H: 2-0

It has been a while since this pair have met – five years in fact, and a lot has happened since then. The Croatian’s 2014 resurgence began at the US Open seeing her finish in the Top 100 for the first time in 15 years.

Kerber is no stranger to a slow burn back up the rankings having had her low point in 2011 with early losses on the tour until her run to the US Open semi-finals – and with an injection of consistency, she has been a constant in the Top 10 since 2012.

The German is now the highest seed standing after Serena Williams’ withdrawal before the tournament started, and in light of Garbiñe Muguruza so a lot of expectations will be on her. She joined forces with compatriot Andrea Petkovic in the doubles but lost, so she has had scant hard court preperation time.

Kerber has always had the measure of Lucic-Baroni in the past, and fairly comfortably to boot but her elbow injury picked up in Bastad last week has to be a worry for her. She has a pretty packed schedule with Montreal, Rio, Cincinnati and the US Open on the cards, so if she is fit we expect a win, but she may have to do one of her patented come-backs from an early set down.

Prediction: Kerber in three sets.

 

Agnieszka Radwanska [4] v Monica Niculescu – H2H: 3-1

The tour’s resident magician returns to the tour for the first time since bowing out of Wimbledon in the fourth round (to Dominika Cibulkova). However, she should feel comfortable against the unique stylings of Niculescu.

The Pole is trying to at least better her run to the quarter-finals this year and she should feel confident of a winning start but Niculescu has had an early start on the summer hard court warm-up ahead of the US Open. That being said, she has yet to pick up a back to back win since Miami earlier in the spring.

Prediction: Radwanska in two sets.

 

Dominika Cibulkova [11] v Eugenie Bouchard

Cibulkova will be eyeing a chance to level her head to head with the Canadian after a great year for the Slovakian. The question will be whether Bouchard has got over a stomach issue that affected her so badly after her win over Lucie Safarova.

It has not always been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Montreal-born player, who has only notched up one main draw win before Tuesday in her home event, and after so me pretty turbulent times it finally looks as though she is back on a positive track.

However, if you are not feeling great, Cibulkova is probably the last person you would want to face across a net. They both play very aggressively but you would have to give the edge to Cibulkova who has been pretty consistent over her last three tournaments.

Prediction: Cibulkova in three sets.

Play begins at the Coupe Rogers, Montreal at 12:30pm, (5:30pm BST)

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