Top seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus will meet Bernarda Pera of the U.S. in the first round of the 2021 Eastbourne International on Tuesday, June 22. Get the live streaming options of this Aryna Sabalenka v Bernarda Pera match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aryna Sabalenka v Bernarda Pera Head to Head
They are 1-1 from their previous two meetings. Pera won a close three-setter in Madrid in 2018, while Sabalenka got her revenge in Adelaide last year, winning the Round of 16 contest in straight sets.
Sabalenka Looking for First Win on Grass in 2021
Having made a first-round exit from her first tournament on grass this season, World No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka will look to find form in Eastbourne ahead of Wimbledon next week.
The top seed, who won the Berlin doubles title on Sunday along with compatriot Victoria Azarenka, was defeated by Madison Keys in the first round in singles last week. The defeat came after two ordinary showings in Rome and Roland Garros, where she lost in the Round of 16 and the third rounds respectively.
Overall, the 23-year-old has been brilliant throughout the season. She began the year by winning the title in Abu Dhabi, her third consecutive trophy, having ended 2020 with title successes in Ostrava and Linz.
She also reached the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time and won her fourth WTA 1000 title by beating Ashleigh Barty in the final in Madrid. The win came a fortnight after she lost the WTA 500 final to Barty in Stuttgart.
A 10-time champion on the tour, Sabalenka is 27-9 this year. She has a career win-loss record of 10-10 on grass, with her best coming in Eastbourne in 2018, when she finished runner-up to top seed Caroline Wozniacki. Sabalenka had beaten Julia Georges, Elise Mertens, Karolina Pliskova and Agnieszka Radwanska en route the final.
The Belarusian, who reached the second round at Wimbledon in 2017 and lost in the first rounds in 2018 and 2019, was a quarterfinalist at Eastbourne in the last edition i 2019. She defeated Tamara Zidansek and Wozniacki in the first two rounds but fell to Kiki Bertens in the last eight.
Pera Qualifies for Main Draw
Sabalenka will play World No. 71 Bernarda Pera, who qualified for the main draw with a 7-5, 0-6, 6-0 win over Shelby Roger in the second qualifying round on Sunday.
The Croatian-born American player had won her first qualifying round against Francesca Jones on Saturday, defeating the Briton 6-3, 7-6. Pera, who reached the doubles semifinals at Roland Garros with partner Magda Linette, has a main draw record of 5-11 in singles this year.
A nine-time ITF champion, the 26-year-old doesn’t have much experience on grass, having a 1-3 career record on the surface.
Sabalenka v Pera Prediction and Tip
Sabalenka is a far more accomplished player and has a lot more experience on grass than her opponent. Expect the Belarusian to win this in straight sets and advance to the next round.