Samantha Stosur vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Roland Garros R3 Preview

Roland Garros, 🇫🇷🐌 R3 Preview + Prediction
(23) 🇦🇺 Samantha Stosur vs (Q) 🇺🇸 Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Samantha Stosur’s section of the draw has really opened up. The former runner-up will not have to face a seeded opponent until at least the quarter-final stage in Paris. Stosur comes up against American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the third round at Roland Garros on Friday. Stosur is on a 7-match winning streak after winning the title in Strasbourg last week whilst Mattek-Sands also enters this match in great form having won 5 matches in a row in Paris, most recently an upset win over Petra Kvitova.

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Petra Kvitova vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Roland Garros R2 Preview

Roland Garros, 🇫🇷🐌 R2 Preview + Prediction
(15) 🇨🇿 Petra Kvitova vs (Q) 🇺🇸 Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Petra Kvitova made a fairy-tale return to the tour on Sunday as she opened proceedings on Court Philippe Chatrier, Kvitova showed little signs of rust as she breezed past Julia Boserup 6-3 6-2. Petra is likely to face a greater test on Tuesday when she comes up against the always-dangerous Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The American has come through the qualifying draw so is match hardened, perhaps Mattek-Sands can cause the upset here as Kvitova could be vulnerable in just her second match back?

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Eugenie Bouchard vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Hobart R1 Preview

Hobart R1: Eugenie Bouchard vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Perhaps the most exciting first round match-up at the Hobart International sees one of the tournaments star attractions Eugenie Bouchard come up against Bethanie Mattek Sands. Eugenie is still trying to find her range after spending the final months of 2015 on the sidelines. It will be important for the Canadian to play another couple of matches before heading to Melbourne, however this is unlikely to be an easy match for Eugenie given she has lost to the American in their two previous meetings.

Eugenie Bouchard made a reasonable start to the season last week in Shenzhen. The Canadian rising-star picked up victories over Donna Vekic and Nicole Gibbs on route to the quarter-final stage where she lost to Timea Babos in straight sets. Bouchard still has a lot to work on and is certainly not anywhere near her best, her best level of tennis will come with time, strong results in Hobart could be key for Bouchard before heading to Melbourne.

 

Bethanie Mattek-Sands is always a dangerous opponent, however her inconsistency and constant injury problems have meant her ranking is always bellow where it could be. The American has been able to remain relatively injury-free over the last couple of years and is therefore well positioned to start playing some of her best tennis. However Bethanie did make a poor start to her 2016 season in Auckland last week, suffering 6-3 4-6 3-6 loss to Kirsten Flipkens in the first round.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands has a perfect 2-0 head-to-head record over Eugenie. Both matches were on a hard court and both were in early 2014, first at the Sydney International and then again in Doha. Both were in straight sets.

Bouchard will see this match as a good opportunity to avenge her previous losses to Mattek-Sands. I believe Eugenie will get the job done here but it will not be easy because Bethanie is a tricky customer and clearly has a winning formula to beat the Canadian. Expect a determined Bouchard to come through this one.

Prediction: Genie Bouchard to defeat Bethanie Mattek-Sands in 3 sets

Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs Garbine Muguruza, Beijing QF Preview

Beijing QF #1: (Q) Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs (5) Garbine Muguruza

Friday’s 4th and final quarter-final at the China sees American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands come up against last week’s Wuhan runner-up Garbine Muguruza. Bethanie Mattek-Sands has exceeded all expectations this week, reaching one of her biggest quarter-finals in recent memory. Garbine Muguruza is also having a good week, the Spaniard has secured her spot at the WTA Finals in Singapore for the first time in her singles career.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands has had one of her best seasons in a while, especially at the Grand Slam level. The American is now on her greatest run at a WTA event this season, coming through the qualifying draw to reach the quarter-final stage in Beijing. The American only just advanced through the qualifying draw, needing a third set tiebreaker to defeat Lucie Hradecka in the final round of qualifying. Bethanie has certainly gone on to make the most of her spot in the main draw.

 

Mattek-Sands has had a reasonably favourable draw, she has taken full advantage. The American started the week with a comfortable straight set victory over an out of form Alize Cornet. Bethanie secured her spot in the quarter-finals with three set victories over Lara Arruabarrena and Roberta Vinci. Bethanie’s 6-1 3-6 6-2 victory over U.S Open finalist Roberta Vinci was particularly impressive, the American ending Roberta’s chances of an unlikely appearance at the WTA Finals in Singapore.

Garbine Muguruza arrived in Beijing on the back of a solid week in Wuhan where she played some wonderful tennis before fatigue got the better of her in the final. Garbine Muguruza needed two victories in Beijing to secure her spot at the WTA Finals in Singapore and she has done just that. The Spaniard started the week with a comprehensive 6-2 6-1 victory over Irina Falconi before recovering from a terribly sluggish start to defeat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 1-6 6-2 6-1.  

 

This will be the first career meeting between Bethanie and Garbine, it promises to be an entertaining match. Now that Garbine has clinched her spot at the WTA Finals, it is not clear how motivated she will be to keep going in Beijing, especially given the amount of tennis she has recently played. The same cannot be said for Mattek-Sands, the American has everything to play for on Friday night and will enter this match willing to do anything to reach the semi-finals of such a big event. Therefore pocking a winning in this match isn’t as simple as it may seem.

I’m still going to stick with Garbine, she may even play with more freedom now that she feels she has nothing to lose which is certainly a dangerous prospect for Mattek-Sands. If Garbine turns up to play, she will win.

Prediction: Garbine Muguruza to defeat Bethanie Mattek-Sands in 2 sets

Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs Roberta Vinci, Beijing R3 Preview

Beijing R3: (Q) Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs (15) Roberta Vinci

An intriguing third round clash at the China Open on Thursday sees two rejuvenated veterans of the tour go head-to-head: Bethanie Mattek Sands and U.S Open finalist Roberta Vinci. Bethanie and Roberta are both playing some of their best tennis at the moment, a significant achievement considering they are both in their 30’s. Both ladies will see this match as a major opportunity to keep their winning momentum going as a long season comes to an end.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands has won 6 of her last 7 matches and has picked up notable victories over Ana Ivanovic, CoCo Vandeweghe and Alize Cornet in the last couple of months. The American was forced to fight for her main draw position through the qualifying draw, Bethanie just snuck through, defeating Lucie Hradecka in a tight final set tiebreaker to advance to the main draw. The American secured her spot in the third round at the China Open with victories over Alize Cornet and Lara Arruabarrena, the score in Bethanie’s second round win over Arruabarrena was bizarre, a 0-6 6-2 6-0 victory for Mattek-Sands.

 

Roberta Vinci has continued her stunning form which saw reach her first Grand Slam in New York last month. The Italian has now won 16 of her last 19 matches, including her run to the U.S Open final where she defeated Serena Williams and a semi-final showing last week in Wuhan where the Italian picked up notable victories over Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova. Vinci still has a slim chance to qualify for the WTA Finals, she will need a victory here to keep her chances alive. After receiving a performance bye through to the second round, Roberta Vinci started her China Open campaign with a comprehensive 6-2 6-2 victory over Alison Van Uytvank. The draw has been very kind to the Italian in Beijing.

Roberta Vinci holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Roberta has won the three most recent encounters between the pair including a 6-4 5-7 6-3 win in their most recent encounter which took place in Toronto two years ago.

This is an exciting match-up between two ladies with unconventional and quite contrasting styles. Roberta Vinci’s recent form has been outstanding but I feel like she is due for an unexpected loss, this looms as a potential danger match for the Italian. Mattek-Sands is capable of playing excellent tennis and I don’t think she will be too worried or thrown off by the Italian’s game.

Prediction: Bethanie Mattek-Sands to defeat Roberta Vinci in 3 sets

Alize Cornet vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Beijing R1 Preview

Beijing R1: Alize Cornet vs (Q) Bethanie Mattek-Sands

An intriguing first round encounter at the China Open on Sunday evening sees a desperate Alize Cornet come up against American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Alize Cornet enters her first round match in Beijing having lost 4 of her last 5 matches, a disappointing end to a disappointing season for the Frenchwoman. Alize has one last chance to make a major impact in 2015, she will fancy her chances against Mattek-Sands, an opponent she should match up well against. 

Alize Cornet has been out of sorts of late, the Frenchwoman hasn’t seemed like herself on court and is struggling to find the form that saw her have her best season in 2014. Alize suffered a shock first round loss to Kurumi Nara at the U.S Open and was unable to make a winning start to her Asian campaign, suffering a first round loss to Julia Goerges in Wuhan last week. Alize has had a week off to prepare for Beijing, she will be desperate to have a good week in Beijing to end the season on a high.

 

Bethanie Mattek-Sands is starting to find some reasonable form, the American reached the third round at the U.S Open where she pushed Serena Williams to a third set. Bethanie has started her Asian campaign off well, coming through the qualifying draw in Beijing with victories over Patricia Maria Tig and Lucie Hradecka. Bethanie has been relatively healthy for a good stretch of time now, probably the reason her results are starting to really improve as she has found continuity in her game.

The head-to-head record between the two is split at 1 win apiece, however it is somewhat irrelevant since the two haven’t played each other since 2010. Alize and Bethanie enter this match in contrasting form, Alize has really struggled lately whilst Bethanie is gaining momentum. This looks like a really even match-up, it should a close match between two very inelegant players. This is a match Alize Cornet simply must win, another first round loss to qualifier would be quite disastrous for her, Alize has spent a good amount of time preparing In Beijing and should be fresh and ready to claim a much needed victory.

Prediction: Alize Cornet to defeat Bethanie Mattek-Sands in 3 sets

Serena Williams vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands, U.S Open R3 Preview

U.S Open R3: (1) Serena Williams vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Serena Williams survived an almighty scare in the second round on Wednesday, recording a surprisingly hard-fought 7-6 6-3 victory over Kiki Bertens. The three-time defending champion will continue her quest for the calendar Slam on Friday when she comes up against compatriot Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the third round. Serena will be aiming for a much more straight-forward victory here.

Serena Williams wasn’t required to raise a sweat in her first round victory over Vitalia Diatchenko, the same couldn’t be said about her second round victory over Kiki Bertens. Serena was made to work extremely hard, particularly in the first set. Bertens was in front for the majority of the first set and had a significant lead in the tiebreak (4-0), however as is so often the case: Serena was just far too strong when it mattered most.

 

Serena was clearly unhappy with her second round performance, the world number 1 was seen on the practise court straight after her match, focusing on her serve which wasn’t the powerful weapon we are used to it being in her match with Bertens. Serena showed that she could find herself in some nervy positions this week, the world number 1 was clearly very tight for the majority of her match against Bertens.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands has recorded two surprisingly straightforward victories to progress through to the third round at Flushing Meadows for the very first time in her injury-plagued career. The American defeated Kateryna Kozlova 6-4 6-3 in the first round before thumping a wayward CoCo Vandeweghe 6-2 6-1. Bethanie remained steady whilst watching Vandeweghe implode on the other side of the net.

 

This will be the first encounter between Serena and Bethanie in over seven years. Serena has won both of the previous matches between the pair, both in straight sets.

Serena will be looking for a much cleaner performance against Bethanie after being extremely disappointed with her messy second round victory over Bertens. I expect this to be a more dominant performance by Serena. Bethanie can be an awkward opponent, especially if she has nothing to lose but this should still be another straight set victory for Serena.

Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Bethanie Mattek-Sands in 2 sets

Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs CoCo Vandeweghe, U.S Open R2 Preview

U.S Open R2: Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs CoCo Vandeweghe

An interesting second round match-up on Wednesday sees compatriots Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe square off for a place in the third round. Both ladies will be aiming to reach the third round at Flushing Meadows for the very first time, a big opportunity for both American’s.

The U.S Open has been Bethanie Mattek-Sands’ least successful Slam. The American equalled her record at the event by advancing to the second round for the 6th time in her career with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Kateryna Kozlova. Mattek-Sands is always considered a dangerous opponent, however she yet to make a real impact this year on the singles court, perhaps this is the opportunity the American has been waiting for.

 

CoCo Vandeweghe’s form during the U.S Open series was poor, but the American produced a stunning performance in her opening round match at Flushing Meadows on Monday. Vandeweghe blasted her way to a 6-4 6-3 victory over compatriot Sloane Stephens. It was an impressively consistent performance by Vandeweghe who did not face a break point all match. Vandeweghe was able to make the most of her opportunities on the Sloane Stephens serve when they came at the end of each set.

These two haven’t played each other since they met in San Diego back in 2010, it was Vandeweghe who prevailed in three sets. Both ladies will see this as a rare opportunity to reach the third round at Flushing Meadows, it will be interesting to see who handles the occasion better. I have to side with Vandeweghe who played some great tennis in her win over Stephens and who has played at a higher level for much of the year, the conditions in New York are ideal for the powerful American.

Prediction: CoCo Vandeweghe to defeat Mattek-Sands in 3 sets

Belinda Bencic vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Wimbledon R3 Preview

(30) Belinda Bencic vs (Q) Bethanie Mattek-Sands

A fun third round matchup sees Belinda Bencic take on Bethanie Mattek-Sands for a spot in the fourth round at the All England Club.

Belinda Bencic enters her third round clash with Bethanie Mattek-Sands full of confidence. The 18-year-old is on an 8 match winning streak after winning her first title last week in Eastbourne.

Bencic has struggled in her opening two matches at SW19, but the talented youngster has found a way to fight through to the third round.

Bencic recorded a hard fought 3-6 6-1 6-3 victory over former semifinalist Tsvetana Pironkova in the opening round. Bencic progressed to the third round with a 7-5 4-6 6-0 win against Anna-Lena Friedsam. Belinda’s movement has looked a little hindered in her opening two rounds as she has seemed to be in pain at times. This is Bencic’s fourth straight week playing matches, she mustn't have much left in the tank.

 

Bethanie Mattek-Sands pulled of one of the biggest upsets of the tournament in the second round: defeating Ana Ivanovic 6-3 6-4 to reach the third round for the first time at Wimbledon for the first time since 2008.

Mattek-Sands was aggressive from the baseline, firing 32 winners past Ivanovic. Bethanie served well under pressure, saving 7 of 8 break points in what was her best performance of the season. This result will give the American a lot of confidence moving forward, she still has the game to mix it with the very best.

 

This will be the first career meeting between Bencic and Mattek-Sands. This is a tough match to call, especially because of the question marks surrounding Bencic’s fitness.

All things being equal, Bencic would be a clear favourite heading into this match. However I can’t see her playing at her best in this match. Bencic’s movement is very important to her game, given the amount of matches she has played recently, her movement is destined to be hampered. Mattek-Sands on the other hand, comes into this match fresh and confident after one of the biggest wins in her career. Another Mattek-Sands upset looks likely here.

Prediction: Mattek-Sands to defeat Belinda Bencic in 3 sets

Ana Ivanovic vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Wimbledon R2 Preview

(7) Ana Ivanovic vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Ana Ivanovic faces a an early round test when she comes up against Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round on Wednesday in London. Ana Ivanovic cruised through her opening match at SW19 but she is unlikely to have things all her own way when she comes up against Bethanie Mattek-Sands for a spot in the third round.

Ana Ivanovic kickstarted her 2015 Wimbledon campaign with a 6-1 6-1 thrashing of Yi-Fan Xu. Ivanovic rocketed 28 wintners past Yi-Fan in a demolition job, requiring a tick over an hour to advance to the second round. Ivanovic was solid behind her first serve and from the baseline, her second serve remains her biggest weakness moving forward, especially on grass where it is very vulnerable.

Grass has been the Serb’s least successful surface throughout her career, somewhat surprisingly given her big game. Ana has failed to reach the quarter-final stage at Wimbledon in her last seven attempts and has only reached the second week of the tournament twice in those seven years.

 

Bethanie Mattek-Sands hasn’t fared well at Wimbledon, ever since reaching the fourth round in 2008, the American had suffered four consecutive first round exits at the All England Club. The American broke that losing streak with a straight sets victory over Alison Van Uytvanck on Monday. Bethanie remains a dangerous opponent, she is a much better player than her rankings and past results suggest, injuries have played a big part in her underachieving.

Bethanie advanced to the second round with a solid 6-3 6-2 victory over Roland Garros quarter-finalist: Alison Van Uytvanck. The flamboyant American served extremely well, holding all of her service games whilst dropping just 4 points behind her first serve. Bethanie seems to be in a good place at the moment, having claimed two Grand Slam doubles titles alongside Lucie Safarova in 2015. The American is yet to bring that form to the singles court but seems to be enjoying herself and could go on a deep run at any time.

 

This will be the first meeting between Bethanie and Ivanovic on a grass court. Their two previous meetings both came in the opening round on the red dirt in Madrid, Mattek-Sands won the first encounter in straight sets back in 2011 whilst Ivanovic won their most recent clash, a three set victory in 2013.

If Ivanovic has a poor day, Mattek-Sands is the type of opponent that can take full advantage. Ana will need to serve well, otherwise an upset is certainly on the cards. I’m tempted to pick Mattek-Sands in this one, however I’m going to stick with Ivanovic to come through in a tight one.

Prediction: Ana Ivanovic to defeat Mattek-Sands in 3 sets