WTA Wimbledon, 1st round: Kovinic v Barthel (17:00)

This will be their first meeting.

Kovinic hasn’t had the best season so far and what little success she has had was on clay. She won an ITF tournament on the dirt last month. She has played just 2 matches on grass this year and lost both. One was to Bouchard in Mallorca but the other was as a 1.22 favourite to American Maria Sanchez in the Eastbourne qualifying rounds.

Barthel has had injury problems this year.  She retired from her first match of the season against Kuznetsova. The following week in Hobart she made the quarter finals but withdrew before the match. A first round loss at the Australian Open as favourite and first round loss at the French Open was all the court time she had before starting the grass season in Nottingham at the start of June. She won just 3 games in her first round defeat by Alison Riske.

So it looks like this will be a quality affair! If Barthel was fit she would be a strong favourite on grass. It is hard to know what state her health is in but the short match in Nottingham could have been a stepping stone to a little match fitness.

Kovinic starts around 1.60 and I think it is worth giving Barthel a chance in this one. The added motivation of this being Wimbledon may help her.

Lay Kovinic below 1.40 but don’t go mad with stake size. Remove or reduce the liability if Barthel takes a break lead.



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