Dominika Cibulkova vs Daria Gavrilova, New Haven Final Preview

Connecticut Open, 🇺🇸🏫🏆 New Haven preview + prediction
Final: (2) 🇸🇰 Dominika Cibulkova vs 🇦🇺 Daria Gavrilova

The final match before all attention turns to the U.S Open promises to be an exciting one on Saturday as the second seeded Dominika Cibulkova comes up against Daria Gavrilova in the final of the Connecticut Open. Cibulkova and Gavrilova both claimed super-impressive semi-final victories on Friday evening and head into Saturday’s final full of confidence. Cibulkova will be aiming for her first title of the year whilst Daria Gavrilova will be fighting for her first ever WTA title. Cibulkova comfortably defeated Gavrilova in straight sets at Wimbledon last year in their only previous match, the New Haven final promises to be a much closer encounter between two feisty competitors.

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Agnieszka Radwanska vs Daria Gavrilova, New Haven SF Preview

Connecticut Open, 🇺🇸🏫 New Haven preview + prediction
SF #2: (1) 🇵🇱 Agnieszka Radwanska vs 🇦🇺 Daria Gavrilova

Friday’s second semi-final for the Connecticut Open in New Haven sees the top seed and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska take on Daria Gavrilova. Radwanska has claimed a couple of tough straight set wins to reach the semi-final stage where she face what is likely to be her biggest challenge of the tournament thus far. Daria Gavrilova is on a roll, the Aussie is playing great tennis in New Haven and will be full of confidence heading into this big match. This will be the first career meeting between the pair in what should a very entertaining match-up between two unique types of players.

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Dominika Cibulkova vs Elise Mertens, New Haven SF Preview

Connecticut Open, 🇺🇸🏫 New Haven preview + prediction
SF #1: (2) 🇸🇰 Dominika Cibulkova vs (Q) 🇧🇪 Elise Mertens

Dominika Cibulkova will be competing in her third semi-final of the year on Friday at the Connecticut Open. Cibulkova will be hoping it’s third time lucky as she aims to reach her first final of the year, standing in her way in Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens. Cibulkova and Mertens have had very different pathways to the semi-finals, Cibulkova has won a pair of tight matches whilst Mertens has already won 5 matches having come through the qualifying draw. This will be the first ever meeting between the pair.

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Agnieszka Radwanska vs Shuai Peng, New Haven QF Preview

Connecticut Open, 🇺🇸🏫 New Haven preview + prediction
QF: (1) 🇵🇱 Agnieszka Radwanska vs (8) 🇨🇳 Shuai Peng

Agnieszka Radwanska will continue her title defense at the Connecticut Open on Thursday when she comes up against Shuai Peng at the quarter-final stage in New Haven. Radwanska and Peng both breezed through their second round clashes in straight sets and are seemingly in decent form heading into this clash. The head-to-head record between the two is currently split at three wins apiece. Peng has won their two most recent clashes and has generally been playing the better tennis this year, can Peng again get the better of the Pole? 

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Lucie Safarova vs Petra Kvitova, New Haven Final Preview

New Haven Final: (4) (WC) Lucie Safarova vs (2) Petra Kvitova

Defending champion Petra Kvitova has stormed into her fourth Connecticut Open final and will be the raging favourite to claim her third title in New Haven when she comes up against Lucie Safarova, an opponent she has never lost to. Nevertheless, this promises to be an entertaining final between two top 10 players, a perfect way to finish the U.S Open series as the tour heads to the final Grand Slam of the year in New York next week.

Lucie Safarova has consolidated her spot in the world’s top 10 this week. Lucie’s U.S Open series started off on the wrong foot when she suffered a shock first round exit in Toronto, but Safarova will arrive in New York full of confidence after overcoming four difficult opponents in New Haven to reach her third final in 2015.

Safarova kick-started her week in New Haven with comfortable straight set victories over Daria Gavrilova and Irina-Camelia Begu. The world number 6 advanced to the final 4 with an extremely hard-fought 6-7 6-4 7-5 victory over Dominika Cibulkova before overcoming a late scare to defeat Lesia Tsurenko 6-2 7-6 to reach Saturday’s final.

 

Petra Kvitova has rebounded extremely well in New Haven after a disappointing couple of weeks in Toronto and Cincinnati. Petra arrived in New Haven without a victory to her name during the U.S Open series but has totally turned around her form this week. Ever since losing the first set to Madison Keys in her first match this week, Kvitova has been close to unstoppable. 

Kvitova disposed of Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets to advance to the final in Connecticut. The defending champion played some sublime tennis in her victory over Wozniacki on Friday evening, blasting 43 winners past the Dane whilst hitting just 34 unforced errors. Petra moved up the court extremely well, winning 21 points out of 23 when she came to the net. Petra is on a mission this week, it looks like nothing will get in her way as she looks to claim her third New Haven title.

 

Petra Kvitova holds a dominant 6-0 head to head record over her compatriot, four of the six victories have been completed in straight sets. The two met on three occasions in 2014, including the Wimbledon semi-finals where Kvitova prevailed 7-6 6-1. Safarova did push Kvitova all the way to a third set tiebreaker in Eastbourne last year.

Kvitova is always determined to consolidate her place as the Czech Republic’s number 1. Kvitova has never lost to Safarova or Pliskova, her two biggest rivals from her native land. Kvitova and Safarova are similar in many aspects but Kvitova does most things a little better and should once again be a little too strong for Lucie on Saturday.

Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Lucie Safarova in 2 sets

Caroline Wozniacki vs Petra Kvitova, New Haven SF Preview

New Haven SF #2: (3) Caroline Wozniacki vs (2) Petra Kvitova

A blockbuster semi-final clash at the Connecticut Open sees Caroline Wozniacki take on Petra Kvitova. Both ladies have won this title multiple times, Caroline has won it on four occasions whilst Kvitova has won it twice and is the defending champion. It is clear that both Caroline and Petra enjoy the conditions in New Haven, this should be a high quality encounter.

It has been a good week for Petra Kvitova who arrived in New Haven without a victory since Wimbledon. Petra broke her winless streak with a comeback victory over Madison Keys in the second round before defeating Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5 6-4. Petra seems to be on a mission this week, totally focused on claiming another New Haven title.

 

Caroline Wozniacki cruised into the semi-finals with a commanding 6-3 6-0 victory over a wayward Caroline Garcia. The Dane was extremely solid from the baseline and did what she needed to go against an opponent who was struggling to keep the ball in play. Wozniacki seemed to be playing with a little more freedom after saving three match points in her second round victory over Roberta Vinci.

Wozniacki holds a 5-4 head to head record over Petra and has won their last two encounters. In their most recent clash, Wozniacki defeated Kvitova 6-2 6-3 in Singapore last year. Kvitova will be desperate to avoid a third consecutive loss to Wozniacki, an opponent she should be beating (on paper). I suspect Kvitova will be more desperate for the victory here and will blow Wozniacki off the court.

Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Caroline Wozniacki in 2 sets

Lesia Tsurenko vs Lucie Safarova, New Haven SF Preview

New Haven SF #1: (LL) Lesia Tsurenko vs (4) (WC) Lucie Safarova

Saturday’s first semi-final at the Connecticut Open in New Haven sees lucky-loser Lesia Tsurenko come up against Lucie Safarova. Funnily enough, these two have been drawn to play each other in the first round at Flushing Meadows next week.

Lesia Tsurenko’s progression to the semi-finals in New Haven has been bizarre. Tsurenko suffered a strange 1-6 0-6 loss to Yulia Putintseva in the final round of qualifying but was handed a lucky-loser spot in the draw courtesy of Simona Halep’s late withdrawal. Perhaps Lesia knew she would receive a spot in the main draw regardless of the result in her match against Putintseva.

Tsurenko received a bye into the second round where she defeated Barbora Strycova 6-3 6-0 in a surprisingly straightforward match. Tsurenko backed up that performance with a 6-2 6-2 demolition of a lacklustre Karolina Pliskova. Tsurenko’s recent form has been extremely encountering since Wimbledon, winning her first career title in Istanbul before coming through qualifying to reach the quarter-finals in Toronto. This is a massive opportunity for Lesia to reach the biggest final of her career.

 

Lucie Safarova is having a great week in New Haven. Lucie comfortably disposed of Daria Gavrilova and Irina-Camelia Begu in her first two matches before coming through a much tougher test in her quarter-final victory over Dominika Cibulkova.

Safarova played some exciting tennis, hitting 40 winners past Cibulkova to record just her second victory over the Slovakian in six matches. It was an extremely hard-fought match, both ladies gave it their all. Safarova was smarter when it mattered most in the third set, emerging victorious to reach her third semi-final of the year. Lucie hasn’t lost a semi-final in 2015.

 

This will be the second meeting between the pair, Safarova defeated Tsurenko 6-3 2-6 6-4 at the U.S Open back in 2013. Lucie and Lesia are now set to go head-to-head two weeks in a row, it will be intriguing to see how this battle pans out.

Lesia Tsurenko will be the fresher of the two heading into this semi-final clash and arguably has a little more to play for. Safarova has probably got as much as she would have liked out of this week and will have her eyes set on the U.S Open. This is a massive opportunity for Tsurenko who is full of confidence at the moment, the added motivation she should have in this match could be the difference.

Prediction: Lesia Tsurenko to defeat Lucie Safarova in 3 sets

Agnieszka Radwanska vs Petra Kvitova, New Haven QF Preview

New Haven QF #4: (7) Agnieszka Radwanska vs (2) Petra Kvitova

The highlight of the quarter-final line-up on Friday at the Connecticut Open sees defending champion Petra Kvitova come up against Agnieszka Radwanska, third up on Stadium Court. Kvitova’s second round victory over Madison Keys was her first victory since Wimbledon, Petra will be looking to back up that victory was another solid performance against Radwanska on Friday.

Agnieszka Radwanska has flown into the quarter-finals, reaching her third quarter-final of the U.S Open series. The Pole eased past CoCo Vandeweghe in the first round, recording a commanding 6-0 6-2 victory. Aga backed up that performance with a 6-4 6-2 triumph over Alize Cornet. It was a solid performance by Aga, a comfortable victory in comparison to the previous clashes between the pair.

 

After suffering first-up exits in Toronto and Cincinnati, Petra Kvitova picked up her first victory of the U.S Open series with a 4-6 6-1 6-2 win over Madison Keys. The signs weren't good for Kvitova early on, after losing the first set, Kvitova faced break points in the first game of the second set. The defending champion rebounded extremely well to run over the top of Keys. Kvitova’s intensity was high and she seemed delighted with the victory.

It has been a tough couple of months for Kvitova who was recently diagnosed with mononucleosis. The Czech hasn't been able to train as well as she would have liked but she seems to finally be in a better place. This is an important week for Kvitova to get some much needed momentum heading into New York.

 

Kvitova holds a 5-2 head to head record over Radwanska. However it was the Pole who emerged victorious in their most recent encounter, a 6-2 6-3 victory in Singapore last year, Radwanska played some sublime tennis in that match.

The contrast in styles between these two always makes for an interesting match. Kvitova is always capable of hitting Aga off the court with her extreme power. This match-up is highly dependent on how well Kvitova plays, if Kvitova is anywhere near her best there is little Aga can do to stop her. I feel like this is an important match for Kvitova and she will be too much for Aga to handle on this occasion.

Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Agnieszka Radwanska in 3 sets

Caroline Garcia vs Caroline Wozniacki, New Haven QF Preview

New Haven QF #3: Caroline Garcia vs (3) (WC) Caroline Wozniacki

The fourth and final quarter-final on Friday at the Connecticut Open sees Caroline Wozniacki battle Caroline Garcia under the lights on Stadium Court. This looks like a good opportunity for Caroline Garcia to pick up a confidence boosting victory over a top 5 opponent.

Caroline Garcia made a very slow start to her U.S Open series campaign, suffering first round exits in Stanford and Toronto. Garcia started to turn things around last week in Cincinnati where she picked up solid victories over Sabine Lisicki and Petra Kvitova before being totally outplayed by Elina Svitolina in the third round. Garcia started her Connecticut campaign with one of her best performances of the year, thumping Timea Bacsinszky 6-3 6-1. Importantly, Garcia was able to back up that victory with a 7-6 6-4 victory over last year’s finalist Magdalena Rybarikova.

 

Caroline Wozniacki cruised through her first match in Connecticut but survived an almighty scare in the second round. The Dane blitzed Alison Riske 6-0 6-2 in the first round, before just sneaking past Roberta Vinci with a 6-4 6-7 7-6 victory. Wozniacki emerged triumphant in an extremely tight final set tiebreaker, Wozniacki saved three match points in the final set tiebreaker.

In the only previous encounter between the pair, Wozniacki defeated Garcia 6-2 6-3 in Seoul back in 2012. I suspect Caroline Garcia will have a lot more success this time around. Garcia is building up some solid form whilst Wozniacki has been far from her best and perhaps still suffering from a calf injury.

I suspect this match will mean more to Garcia and it is unclear how well Wozniacki will recover from her lengthy match against Vinci on Thursday. Garcia is not the type of opponent Wozniacki wants to be playing when her movement is hampered. The heavier conditions at night should also suit Garcia.

Prediction: Caroline Garcia to defeat Caroline Wozniacki in 2 sets

Lucie Safarova vs Dominika Cibulkova, New Haven QF Preview

New Haven QF #2: (4) (WC) Lucie Safarova vs Dominika Cibulkova

The second quarter-final in New Haven sees Lucie Safarova come up against Dominika Cibulkova in what promises to be an entertaining encounter. Cibulkova will see this a big opportunity to improve her ranking and gain some much needed momentum ahead of the U.S Open against an opponent she has dominated in the past.

Lucie Safarova has cruised into the quarter-finals in New Haven. Safarova began her campaign with an impressive 6-4 6-3 victory over Daria Gavrilova, avenging her loss to Daria in the first round of the Rogers Cup a couple of week ago. Safarova backed up that victory with a comfortable 6-4 6-3 triumph over Irina-Camelia Begu, Lucie did not face a break point all match and required just one break of serve in each set to get past the Romanian.

 

Dominika Cibulkova has picked up back-to-back victories this week for the first time since returning from injury in Eastbourne. Domi has been at her fighting best this week, coming through two extremely tight matches. The Slovak advanced past Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round with a 7-6 6-7 6-3 victory before coming from a set down to defeat Kristina Mladenovic 2-6 7-6 7-5.

Cibulkova holds a commanding 4-1 head to head record over Safarova. Domi’s deep central hitting enables her to deny Safarova the angles which she loves. Domi has won both of the previous encounters between the pair on a hard court and won their most recent encounter 7-6 6-4 in Eastbourne earlier this year.

I have to give Cibulkova the edge in this one. This is a good match-up for Cibulkova, she will be confident and determined heading into the match. Domi probably has more to play for this week, it is important for the Slovakian to pick as many victories as possible to raise her current ranking which has slipped all the way down to 58 in the world.

Prediction: Dominika Cibulkova to defeat Lucie Safarova in 3 sets