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HAILEY BAPTISTE vs KRISTINA KUCOVA
19-year-old Hailey Baptiste as age on her side, and beating Greetje Minnen in qualifying is fair form. Baptiste can obviously improve further, and playing at home is always an advantage. From what we have seen of the teenager, she’s a level-headed player who can attack and defend. She feeds particularly well off high balls, and for a player of her statute, her movement isn’t bad. However, to make the top-level she will need to improve intensity, and in our opinion, that’s something todays opponent is likely to exploit!
Kristina Kucova as proven she can handle these windy conditions. The 30-year-old as enough shots in the locker to make it awkward for this level of opponent, and she looked really good in qualifying past Yafan Wang and Anna Schmiedlova in straight sets.
While many pundits will call Kucova a base-liner, we have a slightly different opinion of the Slovakian. While she’s not the most powerful player on the circuit, her double backhand is textbook stuff. She’s fast around the court, and happy to get into long rallies. Other things that we like about Kucova is her tenacity and the way she keeps the ball flat. The latter tactic could work particularly well against Baptiste!
BET: KRISTINA KUCOVA