Anastasija Sevastova vs. Garbine Muguruza, Zhuhai RR preview + prediction

🇨🇳 WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai – RR preview + prediction
🇱🇻 (2) Anastasija Sevastova vs. 🇪🇸 (7) Garbine Muguruza

The final match from the camellia group will be a straight shootout for a place in the semi-finals as the second seeded Anastasija Sevastova takes on the seventh seeded Garbine Muguruza. Sevastova and Muguruza both started their Zhuhai campaigns with victories of Shuai Zhang, Sevastova won 6-0 7-6 whilst Muguruza won 3-6 6-3 6-2. This means there are no complicated scenarios heading into this match, the winner progresses and the loser is out.

Embed from Getty Images

Muguruza holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Sevastova. The most recent match between the pair took place at the Australian Open in 2017, Muguruza won 6-4 6-2. I’m going to side with Sevastova on this occasion. Muguruza has been very unconvincing of late and required a medical timeout early in her win over Zhang the other day. Muguruza is very inconsistent and unpredictable at the moment whilst Sevastova has won over 40 matches this year and usually brings a good level to every match she plays. The consistency and versatility of Sevastova is a troublesome prospect for a shaky Muguruza.

Prediction: Anastasija Sevastova to defeat Garbine Muguruza in 3 sets

Anastasija Sevastova vs. Shuai Zhang, Zhuhai RR preview + prediction

WTA Elite Trophy – Zhuhai RR preview + prediction
🇱🇻 (2) Anastasija Sevastova vs. 🇨🇳 (12) Shuai Zhang

The second seeded Anastasija Sevastova begins her Zhuhai campaign on Thursday night against China’s Shuai Zhang. The only other match from this group took place on Wednesday evening, Garbine Muguruza came from a set down to defeat Zhang. Zhang needs to win this in straight sets to have any hope of qualifying for the semi-finals whilst a Sevastova win will set-up a showdown with Muguruza for a spot in the final 4.

Embed from Getty Images

Sevastova won the only previous match between the pair 6-2 6-4 in Madrid last year. I expect Sevastova to be too strong again here. Sevastova should be able to handle the solid game of Zhang whilst Sevastova is far more versatile and has more weapons at her disposal. Zhang will struggle to hit through Sevastova whilst the Latvian’s mix of touch and power will see her take control of this match. Sevastova played well on this surface last year where she reached the semi-finals.

Prediction: Anastasija Sevastova to defeat Shuai Zhang in 2 sets

Serena Williams vs. Anastasija Sevastova, US Open SF Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: SF #1 Preview
🇺🇸 (17) Serena Williams vs. 🇱🇻 (19) Anastasija Sevastova

Thursday’s first semi-final sees a 6-time former US Open champion take on a first time Grand Slam semi-finalist. On paper, this is a big mismatch as Serena Williams and Anastasija Sevastova go head-to-head for the fist time. Williams is 2 wins away from creating more history as she seeks a record-breaking 24th Grand Slam title whilst Sevastova is playing to reach a maiden Grand Slam final. Sevastova will be no pushover, the Latvian is in career best form and has an awkward game that can trouble anyone, can Sevastova pull off a big upset?

Serena Williams of the United States in action during her quarter-final match at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Serena Williams has had her doubters over the last month, myself included. But, she is again set to prove everyone wrong as she looms as a strong favourite heading into the semi-final stage of the tournament at Flushing Meadows. Williams rolled through the first week with commanding straight set wins over Magda Linette (6-4 6-0), Carina Witthoeft (6-2 6-2) and Venus Williams (6-1 6-2). Serena dropped her only set of the tournament thus far in a topsy-turvy 6-0 4-6 6-3 win over Kaia Kanepi, Williams rebounded strongly with a 6-4 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova to book her spot in the final 4. Serena looked particularly sharp in her win over Pliskova after a slow start.

After a pair of quarter-final appearances in New York over the last few seasons, Sevastova had gone one step further in 2018 to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final. Sevastova started her run to the final 4 with wins over Donna Vekic (6-2 2-6 6-3) and Claire Liu (6-3 6-1). The 19th seed enters the semi-final stage in great form having beaten 3 quality opponents in a row. Wins over Ekaterina Makarova (4-6 6-1 6-2), Elina Svitolina (6-3 1-6 6-0) and Sloane Stephens (6-2 6-3). Sevastova’s commanding win over the defending champion was particularly impressive, an even better performance will be required to get the better of Serena Williams.

This will be the first career meeting between Williams and Sevastova. This is a match-up that features a fascinating contrast in styles. Serena has the explosive power but Sevastova has the delicate touch. Serena has struggled in these types of match-ups in the past, on the big stage too, think loses to Alize Cornet at Wimbledon and Roberta Vinci at the US Open. Will history repeat itself?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Sloane Stephens vs. Anastasija Sevastova, US OPEN QF Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: QF Preview
🇺🇸 (3) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇱🇻 (19) Anastasija Sevastova

Sloane Stephens and Anastasija Sevastova will go head-to-head for a spot in the US Open semi-finals. This is a rematch of last year’s epic quarter-final match that ended in a final set tiebreak, Stephens won that match on route to winning the title. Sevastova will be keen for revenge on Tuesday but it won’t be easy to come by given Stephens is arguably the top player left in the draw. Is this where Sloane’s title defense ends?

Sloane Stephens of the United States in action during her fourth-round match at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Sloane Stephens now looks a legitimate chance to successfully defend her title at Flushing Meadows. Sloane has been extremely impressive on route to the quarter-final stage. Sloane made a scratchy start to the tournament, beating Evgeniya Rodina in 2 sets and surviving a real scare in a 3 set win over
Anhelina Kalinina. Stephens has really raised her level in the last couple of matches with a 6-3 6-4 win over Victoria Azarenka and 6-3 6-3 win over Elise Mertens. The level Sloane has produced in the last couple of matches Is the type of tennis that saw her win the title 12 months ago.

Anastasija Sevastova is through to the quarter-finals in New York for the third year in a row, an outstanding achievement given Sevastova has not reached the final 8 at any other Grand Slam event. Sevastova has had several topsy-turvy victories on route to the final 8. Sevastova started her campaign with a 3 set win over Donna Vekic, a straight set win over Claire Liu and a 3 set win over Ekaterina Makarova. Sevastova’s most impressive performance came at the fourth round stage, a 6-3 1-6 6-0 win over Elina Svitolina, the Latvian’s best tennis in that match was outstanding, touch and precision that few could replicate.

Stephens holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Sevastova. All 3 of their previous meetings were in the last 12 months, starting with Sloane’s epic 6-3 3-6 7-6 victory at the quarter-final stage of the US Open last year. Sevastova beat Stephens in straight sets a few months later in Zhuhai. Their most recent match was in Montreal last month, Stephens won 6-2 6-2.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Garbine Muguruza vs. Anastasija Sevastova, Montreal R2 Preview

🇨🇦 Rogers Cup, Montreal R2 Preview
🇪🇸 (7) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇱🇻 Anastasija Sevastova

Garbine Muguruza opens her Rogers Cup campaign with a tough test against Anastasija Sevastova on Wednesday. Muguruza received a bye through the first round in Montreal whilst Sevastova crushed Aleksandra Krunic. This has been a troublesome match-up for Muguruza in the past, expect the Latvian to again prove troublesome for the Spaniard here, can Sevastova pull off the upset?

Garbine Muguruza of Spain talks to the press during All Access Hour at the 2018 Coupe Rogers WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Garbine Muguruza will be kick-starting her U.S hard court swing this week in Montreal. The Spaniard was scheduled to play in San Jose last week but was forced to withdraw with an arm injury. It’s always hard to know what to expect from Muguruza when she starts a new period of the season so it will be interesting to see how she handles herself in a tough early test in Montreal.

Anastasija Sevastova is also starting her U.S hard court swing this week. Sevastova went back to clay after Wimbledon, winning the title in Bucharest and reaching the quarter-finals in Moscow. The Latvian made light work of the transition back to the hard courts, making a clinical start in Montreal by thrashing Aleksandra Krunic 6-1 6-0.

Muguruza holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Sevastova. Sevastova caused a huge upset when she beat Muguruza at the US Open in 2016, since then Muguruza has won their two latest clashes, most recently a 6-2 6-4 victory at the Australian Open last year.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Anastasija Sevastova vs. Camila Giorgi, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇱🇻 (21) Anastasija Sevastova vs. 🇮🇹 Camila Giorgi

Anastasija Sevastova and Camila Giorgi will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the opening round stage at Wimbledon on Monday. This is an interesting match-up because of the extreme contrast in styles, the versatile, all-court game of Sevastova against the aggressive, powerful game of Giorgi. Who will prevail?

Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in action during the third round at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Sevastova and Giorgi both played a couple of events on grass in the lead-up to Wimbledon. Sevastova failed to defend her title in Mallorca but did manage to reach the final where her tournament ended in a disappointing straight set loss at the hands of Tatjana Maria. The Latvian then went on to suffer a third round in Eastbourne, beaten by Daria Kasatkina in straight sets.

Camila Giorgi was unable to gain any momentum in her first couple of tournaments on grass. Giorgi failed to get through the qualifying draw in Birmingham, beaten by Oceane Dodin in 3 sets and was comfortably beaten by Caroline Wozniacki at the second round stage in Eastbourne.

It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out, will consistency or power prevail?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Anastasija Sevastova vs Monica Puig, Indian Wells R2 Preview

BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells R2 Preview
🇱🇻 (21) Anastasija Sevastova vs 🇵🇷 Monica Puig

Anastasija Sevastova and Monica Puig will meet for the first time when they go head-to-head at the second round stage of the 2018 BNP Paribas Open. The 21st seeded Sevastova received a bye into the second round whilst Puig earned her spot in the second round with a hard-fought straight set win over Beatriz Haddad Maia. This should be a fairly close match between two contrasting styles of tennis.

Sevastova arrives in Indian Wells in average form. Sevastova’s results have not been great ever since her devastating quarter-final loss to Sloane Stephens at the U.S Open last year, a modest 8-9 win/loss record since that match. Sevastova’s middle eastern swing did not go to plan, her most recent result was an opening round loss to Ekaterina Makarova in Dubai. Sevastova led that match by a set and a break in that match, another tough loss for the Latvian.

Monica Puig is yet to find her range in 2018. The Puerto Rican has not won back-to-back main draw matches in 2018, something she will be keen to achieve in this second round match in Indian Wells. Puig progressed to the second round with a gutsy 6-3 7-6 win over Beatriz Haddad Maia, one of Puig’s better performances of the season thus far. Puig trailed 0-4 in the second set but did very well to stay composed and ultimately close out the match in straight sets.

It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out in the first career meeting between the pair, the crafty, consistent Sevastova against the dynamic, powerful Puig.

To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here

Anastasija Sevastova vs Maria Sharapova, Australian Open R2 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R2 Preview
🇱🇻 (14) Anastasija Sevastova vs 🇷🇺 Maria Sharapova

A blockbuster second round clash in Melbourne sees the 14th seeded Anastasija Sevastova renew hostilities with Maria Sharapova. Sevastova and Sharapova played out a couple of epic encounters towards the end of the 2017 season, expect another close battle on Thursday. Sevastova defeated Sharapova at the fourth round stage of the U.S Open whilst the Russian got the better of Sevastova in a 3 set marathon at the China Open a few months later. The contrast in styles between these two makes for a fascinating contest.

Embed from Getty Images

Anastasija Sevastova made a shaky start to her 2018 Australian Open campaign. Sevastova found herself down a set to Varvara Lepchenko but regained her composure nicely to claim a 3-6 6-3 6-2 win over the American. Sevastova has generally been in good form during the Australian summer, most notably in her run to the semi-finals at the Brisbane International. Sevastova’s serve has notably improved in 2018, the Latvian is serving a lot more aces and having more success behind her first serve in general, making her a more complete, dangerous player.

Maria Sharapova reached the second round with a routine 6-1 6-4 victory over Germany’s Tatjana Maria, Sharapova’s first round victory was her first victory at Melbourne Park since her infamous failed drug test at the event in 2016. Sharapova did what she had to do but was far from her best. It is worth noting that Sharapova was quite tentative to come forward to the net throughout the match, a sign that Sharapova is still low on confidence. Sharapova will need to be more brave against Sevastova or she will be punished.

The head-to-head record is split at 1 win apiece, both matches were late last year. Sevastova defeated Sharapova 5-7 6-4 6-2 at the U.S Open whilst Sharapova beat Sevastova 7-6 5-7 7-6 at the China Open. Clearly this is a tight match-up, expect another close match in Melbourne.

Anastasija Sevastova vs Varvara Lepchenko, Australian Open R1 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R1 Preview
(14) 🇱🇻 Anastasija Sevastova vs 🇺🇸 Varvara Lepchenko

Anastasija Sevastova will head into the 2018 Australian Open with the highest seeding just has had at a Grand Slam event. The 14th seeded Latvian will begin her campaign at Melbourne Park with a potentially dangerous opening round clash against Varvara Lepchenko. The head-to-head record between the pair heading into this clash is split at 1 win apiece.

Embed from Getty Images

Anastasija Sevastova made a very positive start to the season in Brisbane. The Latvian made it to the semi-final stage without dropping a set, claiming wins over Samantha Stosur, Sorana Cirstea and Aleksandra Krunic. Unfortunately for Sevastova she surprisingly beaten by Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the semi-finals. Sevastova then travelled to Sydney where she was comfortably beaten by Dominika Cibulkova in the opening round.

Varvara Lepchenko was eliminated in the second round in both of her events in the lead up to the Australian Open. Lepchenko beat Mona Barthel in both Auckland and Hobart. However, Lepchenko was beaten in straight sets in the second round on both occasions, beaten by Sofia Kenin in Auckland and Monica Niculescu in Hobart.

The only completed match between the pair took place on grass in Mallorca last year, it was Sevastova that won 6-7 6-1 6-3. Sevastova will hoping for a more comfortable victory this time around.

Anastasija Sevastova vs Dominika Cibulkova, Sydney R1 Preview

Sydney International, R1 Preview
(8) 🇱🇻 Anastasija Sevastova vs 🇸🇰 Dominika Cibulkova

Dominika Cibulkova will begin her 2018 season with a difficult test against the 8th seeded Anastasija Sevastova. This is an important match for Cibulkova, she will want to get a few matches under her belt before heading to the Australian Open next week. Sevastova arrives in Sydney in good form having reached the semi-finals at the Brisbane International last week. This is a tough first round match-up between two top 30 players.

Embed from Getty Images

Anastasija Sevastova had a good week in Brisbane but ultimately ended in disappointing fashion. Sevastova cruised through to the semi-finals with straight set wins over Sam Stosur, Sorana Cirstea and Aleksandra Krunic before suffering an upset loss to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the semi-finals.

Dominika Cibulkova’s 2017 season was disappointing. The Slovakian will be hoping for a lot better in 2018, the former Australian finalist usually plays good tennis at the start of the year, Cibulkova will need to start strong in Sydney or she will be facing an immediate exit.

The only previous match between the pair took place way back in 2010. A 2-6 6-1 6-2 win for Sevastova in Beijing in 2010. This is an interesting match-up between the crafty, consistent Latvian and the hard-hitting Slovakian. Who will prevail?