The world number 71 Heather Watson will be up against a player just one spot behind her on the rankings, Viktorija Golubic in the first round of the 2021 Birmingham Open on Monday, June 14. Get the live streaming options of this Viktorija Golubic v Heather Watson match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Viktorija Golubic v Heather Watson Head to Head
Watson and Golubic have never faced off each other in a competitive match before this.
Golubic Coming off Second Round at Nottingham
Having won a couple of ITF-level competitions this season and reaching the finals of the Monterrey Open and Lyon Open, Golubic has been in some of the best form of her career. Hence it was always going to be interesting to see how she adjusted to playing on grass.
Golubic started off well in the first round in Nottingham where won against Kristie Ahn – won the first set that is before Ahn retired – but going into the second round as a favourite against Alison van Uytvanck, she fell to a straight-set defeat.
Earlier in her career, Golubic’s best performances on grass came in 2019 when she stunned Iga Swiatek and Yulia Putintseva in the first two rounds at Wimbledon. She was ousted by Dayana Yastremska in the third.
Before that in 2016, Golubic had registered her first ever win on grass when as a qualifier she had reached the quarterfinal at Rosmalen before losing to Belinda Bencic. Can she push on to another second round here?
Watson Struggling in 2021
That she won her opening round match at the Nottingham Open last week would have come as a big relief for Watson. Because the 71st-ranked player hasn’t won too much otherwise in 2021, just her third victory to nine defeats to go with them.
And even that win against Tara Moore, a fellow Brit ranked outside the top 450, saw her getting pushed to three sets before Watson ended her opponent’s hopes 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
In the second round, Harriet Dart ended Watson’s stay in the competition with a straight-set drubbing.
That win broke a sequence of six successive defeats for Watson but looked to have not done much to improve the broken confidence. It does seem like it is a confidence issue too given Watson had been winning a few last season, including outside the tour in exhibition matches in Britain.
It looks highly unlikely she can suddenly find her lost rhythm against a player who has been doing well all season.
Golubic v Watson Prediction and Tip
This seems to be a straightforward call as far as the winner is concerned – Golubic a favourite to go through at 4/9. Also think the match might not go the distance, with Golubic having the firepower to down Watson’s confidence in straight sets.