By Ros Satar

  • Heather Watson [WC] v Kristina Mladenovic
  • H2H: Mladenovic leads 4-2
  • Harriet Dart [WC] v Kristyna Pliskova [Q]
  • Jay Clarke [LL] v Ryan Harrison
EASTBOURNE, UK – Heather Watson will hope to build on her more positive play with the results to match as she takes on Kristina Mladenovic.

 

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Heather Watson [WC] v Kristina Mladenovic | H2H: Mladenovic leads 4-2

British No. 2 Heather Watson is striving to find some form on the grass and was perhaps a little unlucky to go out to Lesia Tsurenko in her first round in Birmingham. In general, the Brit is a lot more happy with her game than a few short months ago.

At the times when she does inject a lot more aggression into her game, she is richly rewarded on this surface, but it can be very unforgiving, and you can wish away a set in record time as soon as you take your foot off the gas.

Fresh off her doubles triumph in Birmingham, Kristina Mladenovic can hit very strongly from the back of the court, but even though she has a solid serve, she can be a little more vulnerable on her second serve if Watson can get a look at it.

Watson is perhaps the slightly better mover on the court and is no slouch at doubles either – she has good touch at the net, and if she is prepared to work the court for it, she could grind out a win. It will take her best tennis, and tactical nouse to get the win, and it is unlikely to be quick!

Prediction: Watson in three sets.

 

Wild-card Harriet Dart will take on qualifier Kristyna Pliskova although the Czech is likely to have too much for her, despite her recent run in Ilkley.

Jay Clarke came in as a Lucky Loser, but faces Ryan Harrison. It is hard to tell sometimes with the American, whose game ought to suit grass, but the home support might unsettle him, but not enough to lose.

Play starts at the Nature Valley International at 11am, BST.

 

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