Fixture: (1) Jelena Ostapenko vs Rebecca Marino.
Tournament: Rothesay Classic Birmingham 2022.
Round: First Round (Round of 32).
Venue: Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Category: WTA 250.
Surface: Outdoor Grass.
Prize money: $251,750.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | Canada - TSN | UK - Amazon Prime Video & BBC.
Jelena Ostapenko vs Rebecca Marino preview
Top seed Jelena Ostapenko begins her quest for the Birmingham title against Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino.
Ostapenko, a former French Open champion, made a fine start to the season with some commendable performances in February. She first reached the semifinals in St. Petersburg before going all the way to the title in Dubai. The Latvian continued her success on the Middle Eastern swing with a run to the last four in Doha.
Since then, however, Ostapenko has struggled, winning a grand total of just one match in her next five tournaments. After four consecutive opening-round defeats, the World No. 16 stopped the rot at the French Open with a first-round victory.
However, the joy was short-lived for the former Wimbledon semifinalist. French veteran Alize Cornet put paid to her hopes with a gritty three-set win in the second round in Paris.
As the top seed in Birmingham this week, Ostapenko will hope for a turnaround in fortunes on a surface where she won the Eastbourne title last year.
A former World No. 38, Rebecca Marino doesn't have a tour-level title on her resume as of yet. Currently placed at 107th in the world rankings, the Canadian mainly plies her trade on the ITF circuit and in the qualifying rounds of tour-level events.
The 31-year-old entered this tournament on the back of a second-round exit at Nottingham last week. The big server put pressure on top seed Maria Sakkari to take a set off the Greek before going down.
Marino has already won a couple of matches in qualifying this week to set up a first-round showdown against Ostapenko in Birmingham.
Jelena Ostapenko vs Rebecca Marino head-to-head
Ostapenko and Marino have never squared off on the tour before, so their head-to-head currently stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Jelena Ostapenko vs Rebecca Marino odds
All odds sourced from BetMGM.
Jelena Ostapenko vs Rebecca Marino prediction
With both women owning an attacking style of play, the match is sure to witness a flurry of winners as well as unforced errors from either side. Controlling their aggression and keeping unforced errors in check with be the key to winning this clash.
Marino will have the edge with respect to service. She produced 16 aces against Eden Silva in her first-round match at Nottingham last week. The 31-year-old has already racked up 13 aces in her two qualifying matches this week.
Breaking Marino's serve could thus prove to be a challenge for Ostapenko initially. However, the Latvian is capable of producing winners from any part of the court. She will also get some help off the fast surface as long as she can keep the ball within the lines.
If Ostapenko can manage to keep her own unforced errors at bay and continue to put relentless pressure on the Marino serve, she could get her reward. The six-foot Canadian isn't the toughest mentally, and a solitary break of serve in each set could open the path for Ostapenko to seal the win.
Pick: Jelena Ostapenko to win in two tight sets.