WTA Eastbourne second round preview: Caroline Wozniacki vs Sam Stosur

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki will be looking for a strong showing at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, going into Wimbledon after suffering disappointing losses to Annett Kontaveit in the second round at the Aegon Open in Nottingham, followed by another early exit, losing to Yanina Wickmayer in the first round of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

Sam Stosur will be Wozniacki's second round opponent and the Australian number one will be competing in her first event since losing to eventual French Open champion Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals at Roland Garros.

Stosur is without a coach for this tournament as her second stint with long-time coach David Taylor ended at the French Open as Taylor wanted to spend more time with his family.

Unfortunately, for Wozniacki she will now be unseeded at Wimbledon which means she will be unseeded at a Grand Slam for the first time in eight years since the Australian Open in 2008.

Stosur will be looking for week here in Eastbourne before Wimbledon and try build on that momentum she has gained at the French Open.

How they got here

Stosur is one of 15 seeded players to receive a bye into the second round (Madison Keys has withdrawn), which could be a disadvantage for the Aussie as she hasn't played a match on grass  this season and it could take her a while to adjust to the conditions.

The Dane set up this clash with the former US Open champion by overcoming the erratic Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-1, 6-3 in the first round.

Their history

Wozniacki and Stosur have faced each other nine times before and it is the former world number one who has a slender 5-4 lead over Stosur.

The pair previously played each other three times in Eastbourne in 2008, 2009 and 2014. Wozniacki leads that mini head-to-head 2-1. They have played once on a clay court at the defunct tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida back in 2009 which the Dane won in three sets.

Stosur leads their head-to-head 3-2 on hard courts. Their rivalry is very close and hardly anything to separate them as only three of their nine matches have ended in straight sets.

Amazingly the pair have not played each other at a Grand Slam tournament and Stosur is the 2011 champion in New York whilst Wozniacki reached the final in 2009 and more recently in 2014, which was her resurgent year but has failed to do anything spectacular since then.

Sam Stosur in action at the French Open against Muguruza (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski / Source : Getty Images)
Sam Stosur in action at the French Open against Muguruza (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski / Source : Getty Images)

Who wins

Wozniacki has a few grass court matches under her belt as she is working her way back from her ankle injury that ruled her out of the French Open but the results have not been what she is looking for so far.

Stosur is currently ranked at 14 in the world, massively down to her French Open semifinal run and although she'll be playing her first match in nearly three weeks, she is still a formidable opponent.

Grass is Stosur's least favoured surface as the third round of Wimbledon is the furthest she has gone at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

Wozniacki will be looking to dictate the points in this match as she is able to throw in some drop shots and extend long rallies which she excels in, whilst Stosur's serve doesn't usually do as much damage on grass as it does on clay and hard.

Both players have not won a title this year in 2016 and they will both feel that this is their chance to lift their hands on the trophy here in Eastbourne as the WTA tour this year hasn't been straightforward this year with some indifferent results.

The former world number one will be looking to improve on her disappointing results on the grass so far and being unseeded at Wimbledon will mean that she is a dangerous floater in the draw which no seed will want to face in the first round.

 Prediction: Wozniacki in straight sets.

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