Anastasija Sevastova vs. Elise Mertens, Roland Garros R3 Preview

🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, R3 Preview
🇱🇻 (12) Anastasija Sevastova vs. 🇧🇪 (20) Elise Mertens

Anastasija Sevastova and Elise Mertens will go head-to-head with a spot in the fourth round at Roland Garros up for grabs. Sevastova and Mertens are two of the most improved players over the last few years, both will see this as a big opportunity to reach the second week in Paris. Expect a close match between two fairly evenly matched opponents, who will step it up and make the most of this opportunity?

Elise Mertens of Belgium in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Anastasija Sevastova’s recent from hasn’t been great but she has done well to make the most of a favourable draw thus far at Roland Garros. Sevastova cruised through her first few matches in Paris against lowly opposition. Sevastova started the event with a 6-1 6-4 win over Luksika Kumkhum before defeating Mandy Minella 6-1 6-4. Sevastova will face her first real test of the tournament in her third round battle with Mertens.

Elise Mertens has also not been in the best from of late but has also done well to reach the third round stage in Paris. Mertens started her campaign with a tricky test against Tamara Zidansek, Mertens prevailed 6-4 3-6 6-2, a good win considering Zidansek was in form having reached the Nuremburg final last week. Mertens cruised into the third round with an easy 6-1 6-3 win over Diane Parry. Mertens will also face her toughest test in the next round.

The only previous match between the pair took place on grass in Mallorca back in 2017, Sevastova won that match 7-6 5-7 6-1.

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Anastasija Sevastova vs. Jelena Ostapenko, Stuttgart R1 Preview

🇩🇪🏁 Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart R1 Preview
🇱🇻 (7) Anastasija Sevastova vs. 🇱🇻 Jelena Ostapenko

Latvia’s two top players will do battle at the opening round stage of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart when the 7th seeded Anastasija Sevastova takes on Jelena Ostapenko. This is an intriguing match-up given the contrast in styles between the pair, the versatility and creativity of Sevastova up against the power of Ostapenko, who will prevail?

Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia during practice ahead of her opening round match with Jelena Ostapenko at the 2019 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix WTA Premier tennis tournament.

Sevastova and Ostapenko have both struggled to find their best tennis in 2019. This was supposed to be a big year for Latvian tennis but things have certainly not gone to plan. Latvia was beaten by Germany in their first World Group playoff appearance in a long time, Ostapenko lost both her rubbers while Sevastova chose not to take part.

Sevastova and Ostapenko are both very capable on clay and will be keen to finally gain some momentum in 2019 over the next few months on the red dirt. The pair have only played once before, Sevastova won that match via retirement in Moscow back n 2015. It will be interesting to see how this match-ups pans out this time around.

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Anastasija Sevastova vs. Mona Barthel, Australian Open R1 Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, R1 Preview
🇱🇻 (13) Anastasija Sevastova vs. 🇩🇪 Mona Barthel

Anastasija Sevastova and Mona Barthel will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the opening round stage of the Australian Open on Tuesday. Sevastova is one of many players that will fancy their chances to go on a deep run at Melbourne Park in what is a wide open field. First, Sevastova needs to navigate her way past Barthel.

Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in action during the quarter-final at the 2019 Brisbane International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Sevastova made a good start to the season at the Brisbane International where she won a couple of matches before succumbing to Naomi Osaka in a high quality 3 set contest. Sevastova then made her way down to Sydney where she suffered a surprise first round loss, the Latvian was beaten by Timea Bacsinszky in 3 tight sets to ensure she would be on an early flight to Melbourne, perhaps a blessing in disguise.

Mona Barthel started her season in Auckland where she was eliminated in the second round by eventual champion Julia Goerges in straight sets. Barthel was scheduled to play in Hobart last week but withdrew from the tournament with a ‘viral illness.’ At her best, Barthel can play, the 28-year-old reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park in 2017 and enters this match-up with nothing to lose.

Can Barthel challenge the 13th seeded Latvian?

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Naomi Osaka vs. Anastasija Sevastova, Brisbane QF Preview

Brisbane International, QF Preview
🇯🇵 (2) Naomi Osaka vs. 🇱🇻 (8) Anastasija Sevastova

An intriguing quarter-final clash at the Brisbane International sees the second seeded Naomi Osaka take on the eighth seeded Anastasija Sevastova. This is an interesting clash because of the great contrast in styles between the pair, the power of Osaka against the versatility of Sevastova.

Osaka and Sevastova have both been untroubled on route to the quarter-finals in Brisbane. Osaka received an opening round bye before defeating Destanee Aiava 6-3 6-2. Whilst Sevastova started the week with a 6-3 6-3 win over Daria Gavrilova before beating Harriet Dart 6-2 -6-0.

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during her second-round match at the 2019 Brisbane International WTA Premier tennis tournament

This has proven to be a troublesome match-up for Osaka in recent times. Sevastova won both of the meetings between the pair in 2018, a 6-4 6-1 win in Doha followed by a 6-4 6-4 win in Beijing, both victories on a hard court. Sevastova’s versatile game possess several dilemma’s for Osaka, it will be interesting to see how Osaka handles this match-up on this occasion.

Can Sevastova make it 3 consecutive wins over Osaka?

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Anastasija Sevastova vs. Daria Gavrilova, Brisbane R1 Preview

Brisbane International, R1 Preview
🇱🇻 (8) Anastasija Sevastova vs. 🇦🇺 Daria Gavrilova

An interesting opening round match-up at the 2019 Brisbane International sees the 8th seeded Anastasija Sevastova and Daria Gavrilova go head-to-head for the very first time. This should be an entertaining match-up between two of the most versatile players on tour, expect a lot of extended rallies in this one!

Anastasija Sevastova had another solid season in 2018 to end the year at a career high ranking of 11 in the world. Sevastova is uncanny in the way she goes about her business, she seemingly has no big weapons and certainly gives height and power away to many opponents. However, Sevastova’s versatility and supreme touch and anticipation make her a tough opponent for anyone, can the Latvian push on in 2019 and consolidate a spot in the top 10?

Daria Gavrilova is a crowd favourite down under. The Aussie will hope to kick-start her season in style in January where she has generally played pretty well over the last few seasons. Gavrilova faces a tough first-up test in Brisbane against Sevastova, can she use the home crowd advantage to get her over the line?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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