In the opening round at the WTA Birmingham Classic 2021, World No. 17 and the top-seed Elise Mertens will be up against World No. 72 Ajla Tomljanovic.
|Tournament||WTA Birmingham Classic 2021|
|Match||Elise Mertens vs Ajla Tomljanovic|
|Date||14th June, 2021|
Elise Mertens vs Ajla Tomljanovic : Preview
Elise Mertens makes her 2nd appearance at the tournament after making her tournament debut in 2018. She however lost in 3-sets in the opening round and will be looking to extend her record as she enters as the top seed at the tournament.
The Belgian will be back on Grass after her 4th round defeat at the Wimbledon 2019 as the entire 2020 Grass season was cancelled due to the Pandemic. She travels to Birmingham from the French Open 2021 where she lost in the third round.
Ajla Tomljanovic makes her 6th tournament appearance at the tournament and her first since the 2015 season. Her best result so far came in 2013 when she made it till the 2nd round, failing to reach the third round.
Similar to Mertens, Ajla also played at the 2019 Wimbledon which was her last appearance on Grass, travels to Birmingham from a 2nd round defeat at the French Open 2021 to eventual runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Elise Mertens vs Ajla Tomljanovic : Head to Head
This will be the 2nd meeting between the duo who previously met in the finals of the 2018 Morocco Open where Mertens won in straight-sets and also leads the head-to-head tie 1-0.
Elise Mertens vs Ajla Tomljanovic : Prediction
Mertens has a career record of 28-20 on Grass and is currently 20-8 for this season. Her 2019 Grass season was not great but still she maintained a good win ratio with a 7-4 record during her matches on the Grass. Ajla is comparatively poor on Grass with a career record of 23-22. Her 2019 Grass season also was not that great as the Australian had a 4-4 record.
Looking at the current results as well, Ajla is 14-12 for this season and won majority of her matches on Clay having a poor hardcourt season as well so far. Mertens will therefore be the favourite as she will look to maintain her head-to-head against Ajla coming into the match.
Prediction: Elise Mertens to win in straight-sets.