Ashleigh Barty vs. Qiang Wang, Zhuhai Final preview + prediction

🇨🇳 WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai – Final preview + prediction
🇦🇺 (9) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇨🇳 (11) Qiang Wang

Saturday’s final in Zhuhai sees the 9th seeded Ashleigh Barty take on the 11th seeded Qiang Wang. Barty and Wang will both be playing to win the biggest title of their respective careers and end the 2018 season on the ultimate high. Wang received a second chance in the tournament when Madison Keys withdrew before her semi-final match with Garbine Muguruza, Wang certainly made the most of that opportunity by smashing Muguruza to reach the final in front of an adoring home crowd.

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It was Ash Barty who won the only previous match between the pair, a 7-5 6-4 win for Barty in Strasbourg earlier this year. I expect a very different result here, I’m going to side with Wang. Wang has been extremely impressive over the last couple of months and should have the slight edge here. Wang has significantly improved her serve and that will be key to victory here. If Wang can match Barty’s serving she should win as it is Wang who has the more dynamic game from the baseline, greater endurance and a greater return of serve. Wang has been particularly strong in China this year so it would be a fitting end to the season if she wins here.

Prediction: Qiang Wang to defeat Ashleigh Barty in 3 sets

Caroline Garcia vs. Ashleigh Barty, Zhuhai RR preview + prediction

WTA Elite Trophy – Zhuhai RR preview + prediction
🇫🇷 (8) Caroline Garcia vs. 🇦🇺 (9) Ashleigh Barty

Caroline Garcia and Ashleigh Barty will go head-to-head for just the second time when they do battle in Zhuhai on Thursday. Barty started her Zhuhai campaign a few days ago with a straight set loss to Aryna Sabalenka whilst Garcia will be in action for the first time this week. Barty’s first-up loss means she is virtually eliminated whilst a win for Garcia will set-up a showdown with Sabalenka for a spot in the semi-finals.

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It was Garcia who emerged victorious in the only previous meeting between the pair, a 6-7 7-6 6-2 victory in the Wuhan final last year. This is an interesting match-up because both players are very versatile and love to move up the court where they are very handy at the net. Both have are solid behind their serve and have strong weapons from the baseline. What gives Garcia the edge is her stronger return of serve and greater firepower from the baseline. Expect Garcia to win in a close one.

Prediction: Caroline Garcia to defeat Ashleigh Barty in 3 sets

Aryna Sabalenka vs. Ashleigh Barty, Zhuhai RR Preview

WTA Elite Trophy, Group Stage: 🇧🇾 (3) Aryna Sabalenka vs. 🇦🇺 (9) Ashleigh Barty

The 2018 WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai begins on Tuesday when Aryna Sabalenka takes on Ashleigh Barty. This will be the third installment of this match-up in 2018, the previous two matches were very tight and there is no reason to suggest that this match will be any different. Who will edge ahead into the H2H here?

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in action during the quarter-final at the 2018 China Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Aryna Sabalenka has been one of the form players on tour over the last couple of months and will look to end an outstanding season on a high in Zhuhai. Sabalenka has won 24 of her last 30 matches since a shock loss in the San Jose qualifying. Sabalenka’s hot-streak saw her win titles in New Haven and Wuhan. Most recently Sabalenka did suffer a disappointing quarter-final loss to Timea Bacsinszky in Tianjin, after a few weeks rest Sabalenka should be better positioned physically heading into her first appearance in Zhuhai.

Ash Barty will be competing in Zhuhai for the second consecutive season, Barty made it to the semi-finals in 2017 and will look to go one step further in 2018. Most of Barty’s recent success has again be on the doubles court but she has had some good results of late in singles too. Barty made it to the semi-finals in Wuhan and a little further back she reached the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time in New York. Barty was in Singapore last week competing in the doubles event at the WTA Finals where she was eliminated at the semi-final stage.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Barty defeated Sabalenka at the Australian Open 6-7 6-4 6-4 whilst more recently Sabalenka won 7-6 6-4 at the semi-final stage in Wuhan.

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

Ashleigh Barty vs. Johanna Konta, Wuhan R1 Preview

🐉 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, R1 Preview
🇦🇺 (16) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta

Ash Barty had her big breakthrough at a major event in Wuhan 12 months ago when she made it all the way to the final. The pressure is on Barty this week to defend her finalist points and she begins her 2018 campaign with a potentially tough opening round clash against Johanna Konta. Barty has won the last couple of matches between the two and will be the favourite to make it 3 wins in a row over the Brit.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia in action during her third-round match at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Barty and Konta were both in action in Tokyo last week, both suffered disappointing second round losses. Barty was beaten by Victoria Azarenka in straight sets, whilst Konta was beaten by Donna Vekic in straight sets. In general it has been Barty that has been in the much better form over the last few months, highlighted by a semi-final showing in Montreal and a run to the fourth round at the US Open.

Barty holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Konta. The most recent match between the pair took place in the Nottingham final earlier this year, a 6-3 3-6 6-4 win for Barty. Barty also beat Konta in Wuhan last year on route to the final, a match that ended in a third set tiebreak.

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

Simona Halep vs. Ashleigh Barty, Montreal SF Preview

🇨🇦 Rogers Cup, Montreal. SF Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇦🇺 (15) Ashleigh Barty

Simona Halep and Ashleigh Barty will go head-to-head for this first time when they meet in Saturday’s first semi-final in Montreal. Halep and Barty were both very impressive in straight set quarter-final victories over quality opposition on Friday and will head into this match full of confidence. Does Barty have the precision required to get past the world number 1 or will the Romanian be too strong?

Simona Halep of Romania celebrates winning her third-round match at the 2018 Coupe Rogers WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Simona Halep produced some sensational tennis to defeat Caroline Garcia 7-5 6-1 and reach the semi-final in Montreal. Halep and Garcia went toe-to-toe for the majority of the first set, but Halep broke clear later in the opener as she found a level that not many can match. Halep, a former champion in Montreal, maintained an extremely high level in the second set as she ran away with the match. It was an especially impressive performance given Halep spent 4 hours on court the day before, a marathon 3 set win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and a straight set win over Venus Williams.

Ash Barty will be competing in arguably the biggest match of her career thus far when she takes to the court against the world number 1. Barty heads into this match with good momentum after a 6-3 6-1 demolition of Kiki Bertens confirmed her spot in the semi-finals. Prior to that win Barty required 3 sets to get by Irina-Camelia Begu in the opening round before defeating Alison Van Uytvanck and Alize Cornet in straight sets.

It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out as the pair do battle for the very first time.

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

Caroline Wozniacki vs. Ashleigh Barty, Eastbourne QF Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley International, Eastbourne QF Preview
🇩🇰 (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇦🇺 (8) Ashleigh Barty

A fascinating quarter-final match-up in Eastbourne on Thursday sees the top seeded Caroline Wozniacki takes on the eighth seeded Ashleigh Barty. This looms as a big test for Wozniacki, Barty has proven that she is one of the best players on tour on a grass court, Wozniacki will need to be at her best to navigate her way through to the semi-finals at the Nature Valley International.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia in action during her third round match at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Wozniacki overcame a stern challenge from Johanna Konta to advance to the quarter-finals in Eastbourne. The Dane battled to a 4-6 6-1 6-4 win over Konta, a confidence boosting win for Wozniacki in her first tournament on grass in 2018. Wozniacki claimed a comfortable 6-2 6-3 win over Camila Giorgi in her other match this week.

Barty has cruised into the quarter-finals in Eastbourne. The Aussie number 1 has been relatively untroubled, claiming comfortable straight set wins over Kristina Mladenovic (6-3 6-2) and Su-Wei Hsieh (6-2 6-4). Barty’s record on grass in 2018 is now 10-1, her all-court game is perfect for this surface.

Wozniacki holds a 2-0 H2H record over Barty. The pair most recently met in Madrid where Wozniacki won 6-2 4-6 6-4, Barty was in a winning position in the final set but couldn’t get over the line.

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

Ashleigh Barty vs. Kristina Mladenovic, Eastbourne R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley International, Eastbourne R2 Preview
🇦🇺 (8) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic

Ashleigh Barty and Kristina Mladenovic will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the second round stage of the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne on Tuesday. Barty heads into this match as a strong favourite but Mladenovic is a dangerous opponent when she gets her game together, can the Frenchwoman cause another early round upset in Eastbourne?

Kristina Mladenovic of France in action at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Ash Barty has displayed her grass court prowess over the last few weeks, a champion in Nottingham a few weeks ago but more recently the Aussie suffered an early round exit in Birmingham and will be keen to for a good week in Eastbourne. Barty beat the likes of Naomi Osaka and Johanna Konta on route to a second career title in Nottingham but was beaten by Julia Goerges in straight sets in Birmingham last week.

Kristina Mladenovic secured her spot in the second round in Eastbourne with an extremely hard-fought 6-7 7-5 6-3 victory over Heather Watson. The problem for the Frenchwoman in 2018 has been winning back to back matches, something she has only been able to achieve on 3 occasions, it will be tough ask to add to that tally against Barty.

This will be an interesting match-up, both have great skill and variety all around the court, this should be a good match to watch. Who will prevail?

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

Ashleigh Barty vs. Naomi Osaka, Nottingham SF Preview

Nature Valley Open, Nottingham SF Preview
🇦🇺 (1) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇯🇵 (3) Naomi Osaka

Two of the tour’s most promising young talents will go head-to-head in Saturday’s first semi-final in Nottingham when Ashleigh Barty comes up against Japan’s Naomi Osaka. Barty and Osaka are two of the youngest players ranked inside the top 20, this is certainly a match-up that we will be seeing a lot more of in the future. The head-to-head record between the two is split at a win apiece, who will move ahead and book their spot in the final?

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Ash Barty has rocketed in to the final 4 in Nottingham without dropping a set. Barty has made the most of a favourable draw, claiming comfortable wins over Stefanie Voegele, Ying-Ying Duan and Katie Boulter. This feels like an important couple of matches coming up for Barty in Nottingham. The Aussie has only won the 1 WTA title, it is important for her belief to start adding to her collection, the top seed has the perfect opportunity to do just that in Nottingham.

Naomi Osaka has recovered from a slow start to the event to reach a maiden semi-final on a grass court. Osaka needed 3 sets to get passed Sachia Vickery in the opening round before comfortably defeating Denisa Allertova and Mihaela Buzarnescu in straight sets.

The head-to-head record between the pair sits at 1 win apiece. The most recent match between the two took place earlier this year at the Australian Open, Osaka handily defeated Barty 6-4 6-2 in what was a near-flawless performance by Osaka. A very different result seems likely in Nottingham.

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

Ashleigh Barty vs. Ying-Ying Duan, Nottingham R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Open, Nottingham R2 Preview
🇦🇺 (1) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇨🇳 Ying-Ying Duan

Ash Barty continues her Nottingham campaign on Thursday with a second round clash against China’s Ying-Yong Duan. This will be the first career meeting between Barty and Duan, a mismatch on paper, Barty will enter this match as a strong favourite and rightfully so.

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Barty produced a fairly clinical opening round performance at the Nature Valley Open. The Aussie number 1 comfortably defeated Stefanie Voegele 6-3 6-3. Barty’s strengths were on show, most notably the Aussie’s very strong serve. Barty saved all 3 break points she faced and only dropped the 4 points on serve throughout the entire match. Barty’s grass court prowess is clear, she will be very hard to stop this week. In Nottingham.

Duan also produced a strong serving performance in her opening round match in Nottingham. Duan claimed a comfortable 6-2 6-2 win over Russian qualifier Valeria Savinykh. Duan served 8 aces and won 76 percent of points behind her first serve in what was a good start to the grass court season for Duan.

It will be interesting to see if the big hitting Duan can catch form and cause Barty some problems.

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

Ashleigh Barty vs. Stefanie Voegele, Nottingham R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Open, Nottingham R1 Preview
🇦🇺 (1) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇨🇭 Stefanie Voegele

The top seeded Ashleigh Barty opens her Nottingham campaign on Tuesday with first round clash against Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele. This is the time of the year for Barty to shine, the Aussie thrives on grass and is a player on the rise. The Aussie is the obvious pick to go on and win the title this week in Nottingham, can Voegele give her an early test?

Ash Barty had a great clay court season given clay is easily her least preferred surface. In 2017 Barty had some great results during the grass swing, a quarter-final showing in Nottingham and a runner-up in Birmingham, unfortunately she was beaten in the opening round at Wimbledon where she lost to Elin Svitolina. There is a great opportunity for Barty to push up the rankings over the next month, especially with no points to defend at Wimbledon, don’t be surprised to see her crack the top 10 for the first time.

Unlike Barty, grass is not a good surface for Voegele. Voegele has not won a tour level match on grass since 2013. Nevertheless, Voegele has been in decent form of late and will head into this opening round with nothing to lose.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. The most recent match between the two was in a Fed Cup match on clay in 2013, a 6-3 6-4 victory for Barty.

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