Ashleigh Barty vs. Marketa Vondrousova, Roland Garros Final Preview

🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, Final Preview
🇦🇺 (8) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇨🇿 Marketa Vondrousova

A new Grand Slam champion will be crowned on Saturday in Paris as the 8th seeded Ashleigh Barty takes on the unseeded Marketa Vondrousova in the 2019 Roland Garros championship match. Barty and Vondrousova will both be competing in their very first Grand Slam singles final, a huge opportunity for both players. It is Barty who heads into this match as the favourite to lift the trophy, Barty is the more experienced player, the higher ranked player and has won both of the previous matches between the pair, but don’t take Vondrousova lightly.

Ash Barty came through a rollercoaster semi-final against Amanda Anisimova to secure her spot in the final. Barty raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set before dropping 10 of the next 11 games to find her self down 6-7 0-3 and seemingly heading for the exit door. However, the Aussie showed true resilience to rebound against a fearless opponent and secure a famous 6-7 6-3 6-3 victory. Barty’s versatility has caused her opponents all types of problems all tournament, she truly is a unique player in the women’s game, Barty’s slice backhand is one of the best shots in the women’s game at the moment.

At just 19-years of age Marketa Vondrousova is through to a Grand Slam final. Vondrousova certainly doesn’t play like a teenager on court. The young Czech star has played with a maturity well beyond her years to reach Saturday’s final without dropping a single set all tournament. Vondrousova’s gutsy 7-5 7-6 semi-final win over Johanna Konta typified her strong character. Vondrousova trailed 3-5 in each set but never lost her cool and eventually wore down Konta with her relentless scrapping from the baseline. Like Barty, Vondrousova is a unique player, she has it all, power, outstanding defense, great touch and a very competent net game.

Barty holds a perfect 2-0 record over Vondrousova. The Aussie has won both of the previous matches between the pair in straight sets, 7-5 7-6 on the Nottingham grass in 2017 whilst more recently Barty claimed a 6-3 7-5 win on a hard court in Cincinnati late last year. This will be their first meeting on clay court and easily the biggest match of both players respective careers. Who will prevail?

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Ashleigh Barty vs. Madison Keys, Roland Garros QF Preview

🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, QF Preview
🇦🇺 (8) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇺🇸 (14) Madison Keys

Ash Barty and Madison Keys continue their respective quests for a maiden Grand Slam title when the pair do battle at the quarter-final stage at Roland Garros on Wednesday. This is set to be an intriguing contest between two players at very similar stages in their careers. Barty and Keys were both seen as players on the cusp of breaking through to claim a major title heading into Paris, now the opportunity presents itself to the pair to grab that first major in Paris.

Madison Keys of the United States in action during her fourth-round match at the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Ash Barty stormed through the first week in Paris without dropping a set. The 8th seed claimed straight set wins over Jessica Pegula, Danielle Collins and Andrea Petkovic in week 1 of the tournament. Barty’s first slight scare came in the fourth round where she was forced into a deciding set by Sofia Kenin. Barty was up to the challenge against a dangerous opponent as she cruised to a 6-3 3-6 6-0 victory. Barty has now reached back-to-back Grand Slam quarter-finals in 2019 having entered the season without reaching the final 8 of a major.

Madison Keys is through to the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam for the 7th time in her career and for the second consecutive year in Paris. Keys started her 2019 Roland Garros campaign with an easy straight set win over Evgeniya Rodina before battling past Priscilla Hon and Anna Blinkova in 3 sets. Keys produced her best performance of the tournament thus far in a 6-2 6-4 victory over Katerina Siniakova to secure her spot in the final 8.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. It was Barty who won the most recent match between the pair earlier this year, a fairly comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory on a hard court in a Fed Cup tie. It was Keys who won their only previous match on a clay court, a 6-3 6-2 victory at Roland Garros in 2017.

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Ashleigh Barty vs. Anett Kontaveit, Miami SF Preview

🇺🇸🐬 Miami Open, SF #1 Preview
🇦🇺 (12) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇪🇪 (21) Anett Kontaveit

Ashleigh Barty and Anett Kontaveit will both be playing to reach the biggest final of their careers when they do battle at the semi-final stage of the 2019 Miami Open. Barty and Kontaveit both came through tough quarter-final matches and are seemingly both in great shape heading into this match, expect a close one between two players on the rise.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 Miami Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

The knock on Ash Barty heading into 2019 was that she didn’t play her best tennis on the biggest stages, that is starting to change for Barty and she is now within touching distance of the biggest title of her career in Miami. Barty cruised through her first couple of matches in Miami with straight set wins over Dayana Yastremska and Sam Stosur. Things got much tougher for Barty in her last couple of matches as she fought past Kiki Bertens and Petra Kvitova in 3 sets. Barty’s 7-6 3-6 6-2 win over Kvitova to book her place in the final 4 was particularly impressive, her first win over Kvitova in 5 attempts.

Anett Kontaveit is having her best tournament of the season thus far as she is through to her first semi-final of the year and the biggest of her career. Kontaveit started her Miami campaign with back-to-back 3 set wins, the Estonian defeated Amanda Anisimova 6-3 1-6 6-4 before battling past Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6 2-6 7-6. Kontaveit benefited from the retirement of Bianca Andreescu in the fourth round and went on to secure her spot in the final 4 with an impressive 3-6 6-2 7-5 win over Su-Wei Hsieh. Kontaveit was in real trouble against Hsieh when she trailed 0-4 in the deciding set but picked her game to storm to victory with 7 of the last 8 games.

The only previous match between the pair took place back in 2014 at the final qualifying round of Wimbledon, it was Kontaveit who won a tight one, 6-7 6-3 6-4. The pair have both improved dramatically since their last meeting, it will be interesting to see how the match-ups pans out this time around.

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Ashleigh Barty vs. Dayana Yastremska, Miami R2 Preview

🇺🇸🐬 Miami Open, R2 Preview
🇦🇺 (12) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇺🇦 Dayana Yastremska

Ash Barty and Dayana Yastremska will go head-to-head for the very first time in an intriguing second round match-up from the Miami Open in Thursday. Barty has been one of the most consistent players on tour in 2019 but will likely face a tough first-up test against Yastremska in Miami, Yastremska is a player on the rise with a an aggressive game and bold attitude.

Dayana Yastremska of the Ukraine in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Miami Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Barty has made a great start to 2019, highlighted by a run to the final in Sydney and her first Grand Slam quarter-final appearance at the Australian Open. However, Barty arrives in Miami fresh from a bitterly disappointing fourth round loss to Elina Svitolina in Indian Wells. Barty squandered several leads in her loss to Svitolina in what stands as the longest match of the season thus far, it will be interesting to see how Barty responds from that tough loss in Miami.

Yastremska has also made a great start to the season, highlighted by her title run in Hua Hin last month. However, Yastremska has struggled Since winning the title in Hua Hin, suffering opening round exits in Dubai and Indian Wells. Yastremska got back on the winners list in Miami with a fairly comfortable 6-3 6-2 triumph over Ekaterina Alexandrova.

This will be the first meeting between Barty and Yastremska, a match-up with an interesting contrast in styles. The all-court game of Barty up against the extreme baseline power of Yastremska.

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Elina Svitolina vs. Ashleigh Barty, Indian Wells R4 Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R4 Preview
🇺🇦 (6) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇦🇺 (12) Ashleigh Barty

Elina Svitolina and Ashleigh Barty will renew hostilities on Tuesday at the BNP Paribas Open with a spot in the quarter-finals up for grabs. Svitolina has dominated this match-up, the Ukrainian has won all 4 of the previous meetings between the pair. Nevertheless, Barty is arguably in the best form of her career and will be very keen to finally grab a victory over Svitolina and more importantly reach the final 8 of a major event.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia in action during her third-round match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina will be trying to make the most of her second life in Indian Wells, over the next week, the Ukrainian could have easily been dumped from the tournament in her first match this week where she was forced to come from behind against an in-form Sofia Kenin to claim a 3-6 7-6 6-3 victory. Svitolina was again forced to work hard for her third round victory as she defeated Daria Gavrilova 7-5 6-4 in a tough contest.

Ash Barty is just one win away from securing a place in the top 10 for the first time. Barty has made a great start to the season, amassing a 14/3 win/loss record across all competitions. Barty has fairly comfortably moved through her first couple of matches at the BNP Paribas Open with straight set wins over Tatjana Maria and Jennifer Brady, Svitolina will be much greater test for Barty in the next round.

Svitolina holds a perfect 4-0 record over Barty. Svitolina has won the last 3 matches between the pair in straight sets, including a 7-5 6-4 victory in their most recent match in Miami last year. Can an in-form Barty finally pick up her first career win over Svitolina?

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Petra Kvitova vs. Ashleigh Barty, Australian Open QF Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, Quarter-Final Preview
🇨🇿 (8) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇦🇺 (15) Ashleigh Barty

Two of the form players on the WTA tour will renew hostilities on Tuesday when Petra Kvitova takes on Ashleigh Barty for a spot in the semi-finals at the Australian Open. This will be a rematch of the Sydney International final a few weeks ago where Kvitova outlasted Barty in an epic encounter. Barty is the last Australian left in the singles draw on either side, the hopes of the Nation are with Barty but she will need to defy the odds to get through this one.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia in action during her fourth-round match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova has stormed into the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the first time since 2012. Kvitova has not dropped a set on route to reaching the final 8, not even close. Kvitova cruised through the first week with wins over Magdalena Rybarikova, Irina-Camelia Begu and Belinda Bencic. Kvitova secured her spot in the quarter-finals with a dominant 6-2 6-1 victory over Amanda Anisimova. Kvitova is now on a 9-match winning streak having won the Sydney International title before arriving in Melbourne.

Ash Barty is through to the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time. Barty has made a fantastic start to the season and is certainly playing the best tennis of her career right now. Barty also cruised through the first week of the tournament with wins over Luksika Kumkhum, Yafan Wang and Maria Sakkari. Barty’s greatest test came at the fourth round stage where she outlasted Maria Sharapova in a really tough battle, a 4-6 6-1 6-4 victory for Barty, one of the biggest wins of her career.

Kvitova holds a perfect 3-0 H2H record over Barty. The last two matches between the pair have gone the distance, Kvitova was forced to come from a set down on each occasion. The most recent match between the pair was a few weeks ago in the Sydney final, Kvitova won 1-6 7-5 7-6.

Can Barty keep her dream run alive in Melbourne or will Kvitova maintain her perfect record over the Aussie?

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Ashleigh Barty vs. Maria Sakkari, Australian Open R3 Preview

Australian Open, R3 Preview
🇦🇺 (15) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇬🇷 Maria Sakkari

Ash Barty is likely to face her first real test of the tournament when she takes on Maria Sakkari at the third round stage of the Australian Open on Friday. Barty has cruised through her first few matches over inferior opponents that never really posed her much threat, that will not be the case against Sakkari, the Greek number 1 seemingly has weapons that can trouble Barty.

Maria Sakkari of Greece in action during her second-round match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Barty has made a very strong start to the Aussie summer, Barty arrived in Melbourne fresh off a great week in Sydney where she narrowly lost the final to Petra Kvitova. Barty has quickly found her range in Melbourne as she claimed straight set wins over Luksika Kumkhum and Yafan Wang with little fuss. Barty’s Versatility and power is a unique combination, a combination which many are tipping to take her deep into the tournament.

Maria Sakkari has also made a good start to the season and has made a good start to her Australian Open campaign. Sakkari started the week with a 6-1 3-6 6-2 win over the 22nd seeded Jelena Ostapenko before battling past Astra Sharma 6-1 6-4. Sakkari will be looking to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time with a win over Barty having previously reached the third round at every Grand Slam.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. It was Sakkari who won the most recent match between the two, a 6-4 6-2 win at Indian Wells last year.

Can Sakkari spoil the occasion for the Australian number 1?

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Ashleigh Barty vs. Jelena Ostapenko, Sydney R1 Preview

🦒 Sydney International, R1 Preview
🇱🇻 Jelena Ostapenko vs. 🇦🇺 Ashleigh Barty

Ash Barty begins her Sydney International campaign with a potentially difficult opening round clash with Jelena Ostapenko. The top ranked Australian woman heads into this match as a strong favourite. Barty brings good form into this event having ended 2018 really well and having played some good matches in Perth last week, conversely Ostapenko is in awful form and in desperate need of a form reversal before heading to Melbourne.

Ostapenko has lost 6 of her last 8 matches spanning back to the US Open last year. Ostapenko made a messy start to the 2019 season, the 2017 Roland Garros champion was thrashed by Monica Niculescu, Ostapenko managed to win just 2 games in her first round match with the Romanian in Shenzhen and looked very rusty.

On the other hand, Ash Barty is in great form. Barty has won 9 of her last 12 matches having ended 2018 on high by winning the title in Zhuhai. Barty started her 2019 campaign with a solid showing at the Hopman Cup, Barty defeated Alize Cornet and Garbine Muguruza in straight sets before being beaten by Angelique Kerber in straight sets. Barty made the final in Sydney last year and will be hoping to go one step further in 2019.

Can Ostapenko find some decent form in Sydney and Challenge the top ranked Aussie?

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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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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