Viking Classic Birmingham 2021: Ons Jabeur vs Leylah Fernandez preview, head-to-head & prediction

Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur

Match details

Fixture: (2) Ons Jabeur vs Leylah Fernandez

Date: 17 June 2021

Tournament: Viking Classic Birmingham

Round: Second round (Round of 16)

Venue: Berlin, Germany

Category: WTA 500

Surface: Grass

Prize money: $235,238

Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Ons Jabeur vs Leylah Fernandez preview

Ons Jabeur opened her Birmingham campaign with a comfortable straight-sets win over 19-year-old American Caty McNally on Tuesday. The Tunisian was in top form and did not face a single break point en route to a 6-4, 6-2 victory.

Jabeur will next face another talented youngster in the form of Canada's Leylah Fernandez, who defeated Wang Yafan 7-5, 6-3 in her opener.

Leylah Fernandez
Leylah Fernandez

Fernandez entered the tournament with a career-high ranking of 66. However, the Canadian has struggled for form in recent weeks.

She lifted her first career title at the 2021 Monterrey Open, but has since failed to kick on.

Difficult draws and a slight slump in form have contributed to the 18-year-old's recent struggles and she will be hoping to kick into gear during the grasscourt season.

Fernandez possesses a game that translates well onto faster surfaces and she could well pose a threat to Jabeur on Thursday.

Ons Jabeur vs Leylah Fernandez head-to-head

Ons Jabeur leads Leylah Fernandez 1-0 in the head-to-head, having won their only previous meeting.

The two locked horns in Cincinnati last year, with the Tunisian prevailing in a topsy-turvy three-set match.

Ons Jabeur vs Leylah Fernandez prediction

Jabeur has been in fine form leading up to the grasscourt season
Jabeur has been in fine form leading up to the grasscourt season

Despite the disparity in rankings, this could well be a closely contested affair. Ons Jabeur and Leylah Fernandez both rely on their powerful groundstrokes to take charge of the baseline.

That said, Jabeur definitely holds the edge given the variety in her game. The Tunisian is capable of playing any shot in the book, although her tendency to overthink on the court often lands her in trouble.

Moreover, she does not have too many grasscourt matches under her belt and could take some time to adjust to the conditions.

For Fernandez, the key will be to stay alert and pounce on any opportunity that comes her way to break the Jabeur serve. She will also have to stay solid on her own serve, which is not the biggest on the tour.

Ultimately, Jabeur's experience could be what makes the difference in this contest.

Prediction: Ons Jabeur to win in three sets

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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