Eighth seed Sorana Cirstea will meet qualifier Ana Bogdan on Tuesday in the first round at the Birmingham Classic. The winner of this match will play the winner of the match between Magdalena Frech and Barbora Strycova in the second round. Sorana Cirstea is switching to grass for the season with this tournament. She has over the years been inconsistent on the surface and so far has compiled a record of 34 wins and 37 losses. The Romanian last took to the court three weeks ago when she suffered a first-round exit at Roland Garros. She arrives for this match in 37th place in the live ranking and with a 20-12 record for the season. Cirstea will be out to protect the points acquired on her way to the semifinals here last season.
Ana Bogdan has defeated Cirstea in both matches they have played each other. She should therefore be confident of another win against her compatriot. Bogdan started off in Birmingham in the qualifying rounds and won both her matches with one set lost. She battled Rebecca Marino to win in three sets in her last match and will hope the trend continues in her debut here. Bogdan has struggled with her form and currently has lost more matches than she has won. But her winning start in Birmingham should have her confident of turning around her season. Advancing to the main draw has moved her up two places to number 59 in the live ranking.
Cirstea has lost whenever she and Bogdan have been matched up together. Coupling this with Bogdan’s strength on grass, we feel confident about a win for Bogdan. It could however require a deciding set for Bogdan to win as Cirstea has the better form coming into the match. Our prediction for Sorana Cirstea v Ana Bogdan is for Bogdan to win.