Tenth seed Emma Raducanu will not have it easy on her return to Wimbledon, facing a dangerous opponent in Alison Van Uytvanck. This would be a perfect place for her to kickstart things again with the Brit failing to find consistency since her shocking US Open title last year.
Raducanu to a large extent is a victim of her own success with the US Open hindering her ability to develop at a normal rate. Ranked in and around the top 20, she has struggled to produce performances that live up to that standard. She was forced to retire in her only grass court match so a lack of match fitness is another thing going against her this time round. However, she is fairly confident that injury will not be a concern this fortnight.
In addition to winning the new Gaiba tournament, Van Uytvanck also took the Surbiton 100k title in what has been a productive month on the surface. Wimbledon has not always produced great results for the Belgian but on grass, she does have some strong performances at ITF and tour level elsewhere. Only falling to Aryna Sabalenka in a final set tiebreak should give a confidence that she can hold with the better players too.
“I think this surface definitely suits her well. She plays a pretty quick, high-tempo game. It’s definitely going to take some getting used to, being prepared for that straightaway.” Raducanu said on her opponent. This match feels like one of the most likely early seed exits with Van Uytvanck far more comfortable on the surface but also full of confidence after her exploits this past month. With all the pressure on her opponent, the Belgian has a big opportunity here against someone who is still very inexperienced and rusty.
Prediction – Alison van Uytvanck in three sets