Petra Kvitova vs. Kiki Bertens, Madrid Final Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, 🏆 Final Preview
🇨🇿 (10) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇳🇱 Kiki Bertens

Saturday’s Mutua Madrid Open final will see the 10th seed and two-time former champion: Petra Kvitova take on the tour’s clay court specialist Kiki Bertens. Kvitova and Bertens both enter this final in supreme form, both head into this match on the back beating a top 10 opponents, Kvitova is on a 10-match winning streak whilst Bertens has won 11 of her last 12 matches. Expect a high quality, close final, who will prevail?

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Petra Kvitova is now within touching distance of becoming the first woman to win the Mutua Madrid Open title on 3 occasions. It has been an outstanding couple of weeks for Kvitova given she arrived in Madrid straight after winning the title in Prague. Kvitova will be aiming to win back-to-back titles for the second time this year and become the first in 2018 to win 4 titles. Kvitova booked her spot in Saturday’s final with a hard-fought 7-6 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova. Petra also defeated Lesia Tsurenko, Monica Puig, Annett Kontaveit and Daria Kasatkina on route to the final.

It can now be argued that Kiki Bertens is the tour’s number 1 clay court specialist. Bertens has an outstanding record on clay over the last few years, amassing an outstanding 50/10 win/loss record at tour level events on clay in the last 3 seasons. Bertens has gone on a giant killing run in Madrid, beating two top 10 opponents and a former champion on route to the final. Bertens started the week with straight set wins over Maria Sakkari, Anastasija Sevastova and Caroline Wozniacki. Bertens’ biggest test came at the quarter-final stage where she came from a set down to beat Maria Sharapova before reaching the biggest final of her career with a clinical 6-2 6-2 win over Caroline Garcia.

Kvitova thrashed Bertens in their only previous encounter, a 6-1 6-0 victory in the first round at Wimbledon in 2015. Bertens was no match for Kvitova on that occasion but almost three years later when they meet in the Madrid final expect Bertens to be far more competitive on a surface that makes this a very even match-up.

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Maria Sharapova vs. Kiki Bertens, Madrid QF Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, QF Preview
🇷🇺 Maria Sharapova vs. 🇳🇱 Kiki Bertens

An intriguing quarter-final clash in Madrid sees Maria Sharapova and Kiki Bertens go head-to-head for the first time. Kiki Bertens continues to display her clay court pedigree, Bertens is one of the tour’s true clay court specialists and enters this match on a high after a big win over Caroline Wozniacki. Nevertheless Sharapova will not be intimated as Sharapova herself is very handy on the red dirt, Sharapova is a former champion in Madrid and will enter this match with a point to prove as she plays on the big stage of a big tournament for the first time in a while.

Both Sharapova and Bertens have progressed to the quarter-final stage in Madrid without dropping a set. Both have worked their ways through reasonably tough sections of the draw. Sharapova has claimed wins over Mihaela Buzarnescu, Irina-Camelia Begu and Kristina Mladenovic whilst Bertens beat Maria Sakkari, Anastasija Sevastova and Caroline Wozniacki on route to the final 8.

Sharapova and Bertens both enter this clash fresh off their best performances of the week. Sharapova defeated Kristina Mladenovic 6-3 6-4 whilst Bertens scored a big 6-2 6-2 win over the second seeded Caroline Wozniacki. This will be a battle between two players that posses huge power, albeit different types of power. The flat hitting of Sharapova against the heavy topspin of Bertens, who will prevail?

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Simona Halep vs. Karolina Pliskova, Madrid QF Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, QF Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇨🇿 (6) Karolina Pliskova

Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova will renew hostilities when they meet at the quarter-final stage of the Mutua Madrid Open. This has historically been a very successful match-up for Halep, the Romanian holds a dominant 6-1 H2H record over Pliskova. There have been no signs that Halep’s incredible winning streak in Madrid is coming to an end any time soon, the 2-time defending champion will however face her greatest test of the tournament thus far against Pliskova who is in great form herself, can Pliskova cause a big upset?

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Halep has cruised into the quarter-finals in Madrid without dropping a set. The world number 1 has now won 15 matches in a row in Madrid and is 3 wins away from becoming the first player to win the title in Madrid on 3 separate occasions, it would also be the first time Halep has won the same tournament on 3 occasions. Halep has claimed straight set wins over Ekaterina Makarova, Elise Mertens and Kristyna Pliskova, the Romanian never really looked troubled in any of those matches and looms as the strong favourite to win the title from here.

Karolina Pliskova is currently on a surprising 8-match winning streak on clay, the surface that has widely been considered her weakest. Pliskova has proven over the last 12 months that her game can work on clay, the 2018 Roland Garros semi-finalist and recently crowned Stuttgart champion has certainly improved her movement and defensive capabilities on clay. Pliskova has come through a tough draw to reach the quarter-final stage in Madrid for the first time, the 6th seed started the week with a straight set win over Elena Vesnina before battling past Victoria Azarenka in 3 sets in what was a significant win for the Czech. Pliskova confirmed her spot in the final 8 with a clinical 6-2 6-3 thrashing of Sloane Stephens.

As mentioned above it is Halep who holds a dominant 6-1 head-to-head record over Pliskova. The previous matches between these two have shown that Halep is able to read the Pliskova serve better than anyone else on tour. Halep comfortably defeated Pliskova in their most recent match at the Australian Open earlier this year, an easy 6-3 6-2 victory. Halep has won the last 3 matches between the pair and 5 of her 6 wins over Pliskova were in straight sets. The signs are ominous for Pliskova.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs. Kiki Bertens, Madrid R3 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R3 Preview
🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇳🇱 Kiki Bertens

Kiki Bertens will be looking for a first career victory over Caroline Wozniacki when the pair meet at the third round stage of the Mutua Madrid Open on Wednesday. Wozniacki holds a perfect 3-0 record over Bertens but this will be their first career meeting on a clay court, Bertens preferred surface and Wozniacki’s least preferred surface. Can Bertens use her clay court craft to claim an upset win?

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Bertens has cruised past two decent opponents to reach the third round in Madrid. Bertens started the week with a 6-4 6-4 win over Maria Sakkari before beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-1 6-4, two good wins over solid opponents that don’t give much away for free.

Caroline Wozniacki cruised past Daria Gavrilova in the opening round, winning 6-3 6-1 but was forced to work extremely hard for a 6-2 4-6 6-4 win over Ashleigh Barty. Wozniacki was on the verge of defeat in the third set when she trailed 2-4 30-40 but it was Wozniacki who remained tough under pressure to win the last 4 games of the match.

Wozniacki has won all three of the previous matches between the pair in straight sets. The most recent match between the pair took place at the Australian Open earlier this year where the Dane won 6-4 6-3.

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Maria Sharapova vs. Kristina Mladenovic, Madrid R3 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R3 Preview
🇷🇺 Maria Sharapova vs. 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic

Maria Sharapova and Kristina Mladenovic will renew hostilities when they meet at the third round stage of the Mutua Madrid Open. This is a big of grudge match, Mladenovic was one of the most vocal players in opposing Sharapova’s apparent lenient treatment and welcoming return to the tour after a doping suspension. The pair played out a tense match in Stuttgart last year in Sharapova’s return tournament and it was Mladenovic who came from a set down to win, can Sharapova get revenge in Madrid?

Maria Sharapova of Russia in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Maria Sharapova has advanced to the third round in Madrid without dropping a set. Sharapova claimed back-to-back wins over Romanian’s. beating Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-4 6-1 and Irina-Camelia Begu 7-5 6-1. Sharapova’s wins were fairly similar, a tough opening set where the former Madrid champion seemingly broke the spirit of her opponents before running away with the match. Sharapova is playing some of the better tennis we have seen from her in 2018 across her first few matches this week, incredibly she won 19 straight points during the second set of her win over Begu.

Kristina Mladenovic has won back-to-back matches for the first time since Acapulco over 2 months ago. Mladenovic has good memories in Madrid having reached the final last year where she just fell short in an epic 3 set match against Simona Halep. Mladenovic is under pressure to defend those finalist points this year as she would like to remain in the top 30 and be seeded for Roland Garros which is just around the corner. Mladenovic started her 2018 Madrid campaign with a 7-5 6-0 win over CoCo Vandeweghe before beating Shuai Zhang 6-4 4-6 6-3.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. The pair first met at Wimbledon way back in 2013 where Sharapova won in 2 tight sets, more recently it was Mladenovic who won 3-6 7-5 6-4 in Stuttgart last year.

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Caroline Garcia vs. Julia Goerges, Madrid R3 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R3 Preview
🇫🇷 (7) Caroline Garcia vs. 🇩🇪 (11) Julia Goerges

An exciting third round clash in Madrid sees Caroline Garcia come up against Julia Goerges. Garcia and Goerges have rocketed up the ranking in recent times, both have dramatically improved their games and are more consistent and reliable than ever. Expect to see a lot of flashy winners in this match-up as two of the most aggressive players on tour go head-to-head…

Caroline Garcia of France in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Caroline Garcia is building momentum. Garcia arrived in Madrid on the back of a nice run to the semi-finals in Stuttgart where she claimed notable wins over Maria Sharapova and Elina Svitolina. Garcia has made her way into the third round in Madrid without dropping a set. Garcia started the week with a 6-1 7-5 win over Caroline Garcia before beating Petra Martic 6-3 7-5. Garcia almost made a mess of her match with Martic as she saw her 4-0 lead in the second set turn into a 4-5 0-30 deficit but Garcia caught fire with her back to the wall as she blasted winner after winner past Martic to end the match in straight sets.

Julia Goerges has had two contrasting matches on route to the third round. Goerges started the week with an easy 6-2 6-4 win over Timea Babos before having to dig deep to come from a set and a break down to defeat Lara Arruabarrena 2-6 6-4 6-2. This is the first time Georges has reached the third round stage in Madrid since her run to the semi-finals in 2011.

It was Garcia who won the only previous match between the pair, a 4-6 6-3 6-4 win in Beijing in 2016. Can Goerges reverse their previous result? Or will Garcia be too strong?

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Karolina Pliskova vs. Sloane Stephens, Madrid R3 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R3 Preview
🇨🇿 (6) Karolina Pliskova vs. 🇺🇸 (9) Sloane Stephens

Two of the form players on the WTA tour will collide at the third round stage of the Mutua Madrid Open when Karolina Pliskova takes on Sloane Stephens on Wednesday. Pliskova and Stephens have both won big titles in recent times, Pliskova won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart whilst Stephens won the Miami Open. Pliskova and Stephens have both already had significant wins in Madrid and will both enter this clash full of confidence, who will prevail?

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Karolina Pliskova is on a 7-match winning streak, on clay! Pliskova arrived in Madrid on a high after winning the title in Stuttgart, her biggest tile on a clay court. The 2017 Roland Garros semi-finalist has clearly dramatically improved her game on clay over the last few years and is not to be ignored on this surface. Pliskova started her Madrid campaign with a comfortable straight set win over Elena Vesnina before battling past Victoria Azarenka 6-2 1-6 7-5. Pliskova showed great mental strength to outlast Azarenka in a tight final set where both had chances to take control, Pliskova’s great serving under pressure and discipline from the baseline gave her the edge and allowed to claim a significant win.

Sloane Stephens has stormed through her first couple of matches in Madrid. The American eased past Silvia Soler-Espinosa and Samantha Stosur to secure her spot in the third round in Madrid for the first time in her career. Stephens has made great progress over the last few months after a slow start to the year, If the reigning U.S Open champion can consistently bring her a-game she will be competing for the biggest titles over the next few months.

Stephens has won the only previous matches between the pair, both in straight sets. 6-2 6-2 at Wimbledon in 2012 and 6-3 6-2 in Beijing in 2015.

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Daria Kasatkina vs. Sorana Cirstea, Madrid R2 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Preview
🇷🇺 (14) Daria Kasatkina vs. 🇷🇴 Sorana Cirstea

Daria Kasatkina and Sorana Cirstea will go head-to-head for the very first time when they meet at the second round stage of the Mutua Madrid Open on Tuesday. This looms as a great opportunity for both to gain some much needed confidence and kick-start their clay court campaigns after arriving in Madrid on the back of multiple opening round defeats.

Daria Kasatkina of Russia in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Kasatkina and Cirstea both arrives in Madrid having lost 3 matches in a row, both were able to break their losing steaks with hard-fought victories. Kasatkina claimed a 7-5 7-6 win over Qiang Wang whilst Cirstea defeated Katerina Siniakova 6-4 2-6 6-4.

It is Cirstea who has the far better recent record in Madrid. Cirstea has reached the quarter-final stage in Madrid in the last couple of years whilst Kasatkina has been defeated in the opening round in the last couple of years.

It will be interesting to see how this match pans out in their first career meeting.

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Johanna Konta vs. Bernarda Pera, Madrid R2 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Preview
🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs. 🇺🇸 (Q) Bernarda Pera

Johanna Konta and Bernard Pera will renew hostilities when they meet at the second round stage of the Mutua Madrid Open on Tuesday. Pera has proven to be a surprisingly troublesome opponent for Konta, the pair have met on 2 occasions in 2018 and claimed 1 win apiece. Both will view this is a winnable match and a great opportunity to reach the third round at the third premier mandatory event of the year.

Johanna Konta of Great Britain in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Clay has always been Johanna Konta’s least successful surface. Perhaps the relatively quick clay courts in Madrid can provide the opportunity for Konta to gain some confidence on clay. Konta started her 2018 Madrid campaign with a solid 6-3 7-5 win over the 16th seeded Magdalena Rybarikova.

Bernarda Pera has already won 3 matches in Madrid. The American claimed straight set wins over Polona Hercog and Sachia Vickery to progress through the qualifying draw whilst a 6-2 4-6 6-3 win over Aryna Sabalenka secured her spot in the second round of the main draw.

Both of the previous matches between the pair took place on a hard court earlier this year. Pera stunned Konta at the second round stage of the Australian Open, a 6-4 7-5 win whilst more recently it was Konta who won 7-6 6-1 in Doha.

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Elina Svitolina vs. Carla Suarez Navarro, Madrid R2 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Preview
🇺🇦 (4) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇪🇸 Carla Suarez Navarro

One of the standout second round matches at the Mutua Madrid Open sees the 4th seeded Elina Svitolina take on Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. This has historically been a very even match-up, the H2H series between the pair reflects this, a 3-3 H2H record. Svitolina will enter this clash eager for revenge after Suarez Navarro shocked the Ukrainian in their most recent match, a straight set win for the Spaniard at the third round stage at Indian Wells. Can Suarez Navarro cause Svitolina more grief in front of her home fans in the Spanish capital?

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Svitolina and Suarez Navarro both cruised through their opening round matches in Madrid against decent opposition. Svitolina defeated Alize Cornet 6-2 6-2 whilst Suarez Navarro beat Barbora Strycova 6-3 6-3. Cornet and Strycova are both solid opposition meaning both Svitolina and Suarez Navarro have started this tournament in good form. Expect another tough battle between two of the tour’s greatest competitors.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 3 win apiece heading into this match. Surprisingly it is Suarez Navarro who has won 2 of their last 3 matches. In 2018 the pair have met on 2 occasions, a 6-2 6-4 win for Svitolina in Brisbane and more recently a 7-5 6-3 win for Suarez Navarro in Indian wells.

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