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Sabalenka vs Wozniacki WTA Eastbourne live streaming, preview and tips - Rematch of 2018 Eastbourne final as out-of-form stars clash in R16

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 26 Jun 2019
  • Aryna Sabalenka vs Caroline Wozniacki is live from Eastbourne around 3.30pm local time/BST on Wednesday
  • Wozniacki won their Eastbourne final clash last year, while Sabalenka avenged that loss later in 2018 in Canada
Aryna Sabalenka (PA Images)

It’s a rematch of the 2018 Nature Valley International final on Wednesday as defending champion Caroline Wozniacki meets Aryna Sabalenka in the Round of 16 in Eastbourne on Wednesday.

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Who will emerge triumphant and reach the quarter-finals in Eastbourne on Wednesday as Caroline Wozniacki and Aryna Sabalenka square off in a rematch of last year’s final.

It’s safe to say both players are experiencing challenging seasons in 2019 after putting together respective milestone moments last year.

Sabalenka started the year in solid enough fashion, winning her third career title in Shenzhen, reaching the third round of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of St. Petersburg, however the 21-year-old has really struggled over the last few months, winning back-to-back matches just once in her last nine tournaments and losing in the opening round in five of those events. Sabalenka still doesn’t own a win over a top 25 player all season, with her only notable result since early February coming when she made the semi-finals of Strasbourg just before the French Open, but her best win in that event came against No. 61 Monica Puig before she was knocked out by Dayana Yastremska.

Sabalenka went on to lose in the second round of Roland Garros to Amanda Anisimova, the teenager who also beat her at the Australian Open, while her first two grass events resulted in first round eliminations in s-Hertogenbosch and Birmingham to Destanee Aiava and Hsieh Su-Wei respectively.

It’s certainly a far cry from the sensational season Sabalenka experienced last year, where the Belarusian surged into the top 15 after starting 2018 at No. 78, beating eight top 10 players from June to October as she won her first two WTA titles in New Haven and Wuhan, finished runner-up in Eastbourne, made the semi-finals in Cincinnati, quarter-finals in Beijing and Tianjin and the fourth round of the U.S. Open, where she was the only player to take a set off eventual champion Naomi Osaka. But perhaps a return to Eastbourne will spark a change in fortune for Sabalenka? She beat the likes of Julia Goerges ,Elise Mertens, Karolina Pliskova and Agnieszka Radwanska to make the final last year before going down to Wozniacki, and she managed to snap a three-match losing streak as she got a straight sets win over Tamara Zidansek to earn a rematch with the Dane on Wednesday.

Caroline Wozniacki (PA Images)
Meanwhile, Wozniacki is trying to win three matches at the same tournament for just the second time this season after extending her Eastbourne winning streak to seven matches, taking out Kirsten Flipkens and Andrea Petkovic in straight sets to make the third round. Wozniacki has never made it past the fourth round of Wimbledon, but she’s been very successful in Eastbourne throughout her career, winning the title in 2009 and 2018 (beating Jo Konta, Ash Barty and Angelique Kerber before Sabalenka in the final), while she was also a runner-up in 2017 and made three consecutive semi-finals between 2013-15.

However, Wozniacki returns to Eastbourne in questionable form. After winning her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open last year and also taking home the Premier Mandatory China Open silverware in Beijing, Wozniacki revealed she was dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, which is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting many joints, including those in the hands and feet. Wozniacki says she is managing the situation the best she can, but it is seemingly affecting her tennis, because she arrived in Eastbourne with a 9-8 record for 2019, making just one quarter-final when she finished runner-up in Charleston, while she retired in both of her lead-in tournaments to Roland Garros before being knocked out in the first round of Paris by Veronica Kudermetova.

It makes this rematch in Eastbourne extremely tough to call. Sabalenka avenged that loss when she beat Wozniacki in Canada last year, but she’s nowhere near that form at the moment and hasn’t been able to defeat a player in the top 25 all season. Wozniacki loves the courts in Eastbourne and with the way Sabalenka is playing at the moment, her easy baseline game and retrieval skills should be enough to frustrate the 21-year-old into error.


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Sabalenka vs Wozniacki WTA Eastbourne live streaming, preview and tips - Rematch of 2018 Eastbourne final as out-of-form stars clash in R16

It’s a rematch of the 2018 Nature Valley International final on Wednesday as defending champion Caroline Wozniacki meets Aryna Sabalenka in the Round of 16 in Eastbourne on Wednesday.

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