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Wimbledon 2013: Maria Kirilenko vs. Laura Robson 1st Round Preview
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Reads: 7,462, Comments: 0
10th seed Maria Kirilenko has been in superb form of late – only three weeks ago she reached the quarterfinals of Roland Garros for the first time in her career before bowing out of the competition at the hands of Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka in straight sets. Prior to her loss to the Belarusian Maria had beaten the likes of Stefanie Voegele and Bethanie Mattek-Sands to progress through to the last 8 stage of the second Grand Slam of the year.
After a successful stint on the clay-courts of mainland Europe, Kirilenko began her preparations for Wimbledon on the lawns of Devonshire Park in the coastal city of Eastbourne in England and won back-back matches on the grass against rising Serb Bojana Jovanovski and Elena Baltacha before putting up a shoddy performance against former US Open semifinalist Yanina Wickmayer who took advantage of her lackluster play to claim a tough three set win over her.
Meanwhile, her challenger Laura Robson hasn’t been able to come to grips with the pace and bounce of the original surface of the sport despite having all the ingredients that can make her hugely successful on it. The World No.38 – the only teenager to be ranked inside the top-50 on the WTA tour with her traditional lefty serve and her ferocious forehand can cause serious damage to the morale of the very best in the game. Especially on a fast paced surface like grass where the ball zips through the surface, her game is just tailor made to flourish on it.
Yet, somehow Laura has managed to lose in the early rounds of both the events that she had participated in prior to the Big W. In Birmingham, she had the misfortune of meeting an accomplished grass-courter Daniela Hantuchova in her opener and at Eastbourne she came across former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in the round of 16 who with her unbelievable defensive skills crushed her hopes of advancing to the next round.
The two ladies have never faced-off each other in the past and in their first duel it is the Russian who will be a slight favorite as she is in far better form than Robson. But, the Brit would have the crowd behind her and that can lift her to do something special today.
Pick: Kirilenko in three!
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