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WTA Birmingham Draw Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Petra Kvitova continues comeback from hand surgery in Birmingham

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 19 Jun 2017
  • WTA Aegon Classic Birmingham is live from Birmingham from 19-25 June
  • Petra Kvitova continues her comeback from hand surgery in Birrmingham
Petra Kvitova. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Petra Kvitova continues her comeback from hand surgery; Johanna Konta looks to shake off the disappointment of not winning Nottingham, while Elina Svitolina looks to transform her good clay court form to grass at the Aegon Classic, which holds in Birmingham from June 19-25.

Which of the WTA stars will find some form ahead of what will be another open field in the third Grand Slam of the season at Wimbledon?

First Quarter
Projected Quarter-Final: Dominika Cibulkova (3) vs Daria Gavrilova (9)
Shifted to the top of the draw following the withdrawal of top seed, Angelique Kerber, Dominika Cibulkova has got a difficult opener against Lucie Safarova- the former French Open finalist and Wimbledon semi-finalist. This could spell the end for an out-of-sorts Cibulkova in Birmingham, as Safarova played herself into some form with a semi-final in Nottingham last week, while Cibulkova suffered a shock loss to Antonia Lottner in s-Hertogenbosch.

Cibulkova will do well to get out of that one, and if she does, she will take on Lauren Davis or the big-hitting Japanese, Naomi Osaka in the next round.

Cibulkova is seeded to meet the lively Australian, Daria Gavrilova in the quarter finals, but big-hitting Czech, Katerina Siniakova, who reached the last eight in Birmingham 2015, could usurp Gavrilova, and emerge for the quarter finals.

Predicted Quarter Final:  Lucie Safarova vs Katerina Siniakova

Second Quarter
Projected Quarter-Final: Kristina Mladenovic (5) vs Petra Kvitova (7)
Petra Kvitova continues her comeback from career-threatening hand injuries this week, as she looks to work up some grass court form ahead of a tilt at Wimbledon. The left-hander played for the first time this season at Roland Garros, winning her opening match against Julia Boserup, before falling to Bethanie Mattek-Sands in a narrow second round loss. Kvitova is as good a grass court player as anyone in the Wimbledon entry list, and with no overwhelming favourite emerging for the third Grand Slam of the year, it is not entirely inconceivable that the Czech could mount a deep run at SW19. First she needs to find some form, fitness and confidence before the start of the big one. Kvitova starts against a qualifier before a second round meeting with Naomi Broady or Alize Cornet- both very winnable matches.

Kristina Mladenovic would have been disappointed with a quarter final exit at s-Hertogenbosch last week, a little blot in an otherwise excellent 2017 copy book, but she will be keen to get her grass court season back on track with a strong showing in Birmingham this week. She was very strong last season, winning the s-Hertogenbosch title, and reaching the quarter finals at Eastbourne, and the season before, she reached the semi-finals in Birmingham. She is clearly very comfortable on this surface.

She could open against back-to-back Chinese this week, as she plays Ying-Ying Duan in the first round and Shuai Zhang in the second round. If she comes through those, a meeting with Kvitova looms.

Predicted quarter final: Kristina Mladenovic vs Petra Kvitova

Third Quarter
Projected Quarter-Final: Johanna Konta (4) vs Garbine Muguruza (6)
British number one, Johanna Konta headlines a packed quarter that also features former Wimbledon finalist, Garbine Muguruza. Konta is still seeking her first title on home soil, and her first title on grass following her loss to Donna Vekic in Nottingham last week. 

If she is to break that duck in Birmingham, she will have to do it the hard way. She opens against s-Hertogenbosch semi-finalist, Lesia Tsurenko before a possible second round meeting against the very dangerous grass courter, CoCo Vandeweghe. Vandeweghe must first get past Christina McHale in the opening round. 

The other half of this draw is not immune from the potential chaos; Garbine Muguruza is lodged somewhere in the mix after all. Muguruza opens against a qualifier or a lucky loser, before a possible second round meeting with Nottingham champion, Donna Vekic.  A WTA draw is never straightforward, and Vekic may not progress beyond an opening round meeting with Alison Riske.

Predicted semi-final: Garbine Muguruza vs. CoCo Vandeweghe 

Fourth Quarter
Projected Quarter-Final: Elina Svitolina (2) vs Barbora Strycova (8)
Elina Svitolina has made a conscious effort to add some attacking verve to her game in recent months, and that will only serve her well on grass as he looks to extend her good clay court form into the lawns of the United Kingdom.

The second seed starts against British number two, Heather Watson in Birmingham, before a potential second round meeting with surprise s-Hertogenbosch champion, Natalia Vikhlyantseva. That’s a quietly dangerous opening.

At the other end of this quarter, the last year's beaten finalist, Barbora Strycova- arguably the most accomplished grass court player in the quarter- begins against the effervescent Yulia Putintseva, before a likely second round encounter with Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.

Predicted quarter-final: Elina Svitlina vs Barbora Strycova

WTA Aegon Classic Birmingham is live from Birmingham from 19-25 June

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WTA Birmingham Draw Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Petra Kvitova continues comeback from hand surgery in Birmingham

Petra Kvitova joins the WTA's biggest stars at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham. Who will win the title? Read our preview, predictions and stream the tournament live online.

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