In what is certainly a surprising fixture, Belgian player Elise Mertens will meet her Czech counterpart Barbora Strycova in the fourth round of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships. The duo will meet on Monday, July 8 at 11:00 am local time. Get Barbora Strycova v Elise Mertens live streaming options with the preview here.
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Barbora Strycova v Elise Mertens Head to Head
The pair have met only once on the tour, in the 2018 US Open. Mertens won that match in straight sets.
Mertens Back in Form
The 23-year-old Elise Mertens was on the cusp of breaking into the top 10 this season, but her plans were derailed on the back of a poor showing at the start of the year.
She got some of that confidence back in Qatar when she won the tournament after defeating the likes of Kiki Bertens, Angelique Kerber, and Simona Halep. Unfortunately, Mertens couldn’t back that win with consistency on the tour and ended up losing in the early rounds in the subsequent tournaments.
In fact, it is the first time since the Doha Open that the Belgian has reached the fourth round on the tour. It was fairly easy for Mertens to achieve this feat in Wimbledon, at least until the point she met Qiang Wang in the third round. It was a match that went on for a little under three hours and saw Mertens take the win with 6-2, 6-7(11), 6-4.
The Belgian is also a doubles prodigy, having won the Sunshine Women’s Doubles with Aryna Sabalenka this year.
Strycova, In with the Biggest Win Yet
Given the rather average year that Strycova has had this season, not many would have predicted that she would reach the fourth round in Wimbledon. However, she silenced her critics in great style, most notably by knocking out Kiki Bertens.
It was quite a feat for Strycova, who also happens to be a doubles veteran, to defeat Bertens with 7-5, 6-1, in an hour and 38 minutes. With a first-serve win-rate of 80% and just 16 unforced errors, she delivered one of the biggest upsets in the tournament.
While the Czech hasn’t won a singles title since the 2017 Linz Open, she has had her moments. This year, she was a semifinalist in Istanbul, Prague, and Birmingham and now, is on the verge of acing those results in London.
Mertens v Strycova Predictions & Tips
On the doubles circuit, the two top-five players are separated by just two places. Needless to say, both of them have sufficient experience to perform on the big stage like the one in Wimbledon. The odds will be in the favour of Mertens, however, simply because she has a superior track record on the singles circuit. But that isn’t to say that Strycova cannot cause the upset once again.
Tip: Mertens to win 2-1. (888Sport)