Jelena Ostapenko vs. Daria Gavrilova, Wuhan R1 Preview

๐Ÿ‰ Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, R1 Preview
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป (10) Jelena Ostapenko vs. ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Daria Gavrilova

A first round match-up in Wuhan which features a huge contrast in styles sees the 10th seeded Jelena Ostapenko take on Daria Gavrilova. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that this will be the first career meeting between the pair. Will attack of defence prevail?

Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in action during her third-round match at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Jelena Ostapenko and Daria Gavrilova have both been in fairly disappointing form of late, both had poor results during the North American hard court swing and both suffered early exits last week. Ostapenko was beaten at the second round stage in her title defense in Seoul, smashed by Ekaterina Alexandrova in straight sets. Gavrilova played a couple of marathon matches against the Pliskova sisters in Tokyo, Gavrilova let several leads slip on route to a three 3 set loss to Karolina Pliskova.

This should be an entertaining match between two totally different players. Ostapenko has the firepower whilst Gavrilova has the defensive prowess. Gavrilova will make life hard for Ostapenko if she is off her game but if the Latvian fires she should be too strong.

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

Barbora Strycova vs. Alize Cornet, Wuhan R1 Preview

๐Ÿ‰ Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, R1 Preview
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Barbora Strycova vs. ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท Alize Cornet

Two of the tourโ€™s most entertaining players will go head-to-head at the opening round stage in Wuhan as Barbora Strycova takes on Alize Cornet. Interestingly it is Cornet who has been fairly dominant in this match-up in the past, Cornet holds a 6-2 head-to-head record over Strycova but heads into this match as the slight underdog.

Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic in action during her third-round match at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

The pair bring fairly contrasting form into this opening round match in Wuhan. Strycova was in action last week in Tokyo where she played two tough matches, she beat Anett Kontaveit in an epic 3 set encounter before being beaten by Naomi Osaka in straight sets in what was a pretty competitive match. Conversely, Cornet has not won a match since Cincinnati and suffered a strangely one sided first round loss at the hands of Jennifer Brady in Guangzhou last week.

It was Alize Cornet who won the first 5 career meetings between the two, Strycova has won 2 of their last 3 matches. Overall it is Cornet with al 6-2 head-to-head advantage. Their most recent clash was at Roland Garros last year, Cornet claimed a comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory. Strycova has won the last 2 matches between the pair on a hard court.

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

Ashleigh Barty vs. Johanna Konta, Wuhan R1 Preview

๐Ÿ‰ Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, R1 Preview
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ (16) Ashleigh Barty vs. ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง 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

Aryna Sabalenka vs. Carla Suarez Navarro, Wuhan R1 Preview

๐Ÿ‰ Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, R1 Preview
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พ Aryna Sabalenka vs. ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Carla Suarez Navarro

Aryna Sabalenka and Carla Suarez Navarro kick-start their Asian swings with an opening round clash in Wuhan on Monday. The pair squared off last month in the New Haven final, Sabalenka claimed a comfortable victory on that occasion. Can Suarez Navarro avenge that loss in Wuhan?

Arena Sabalenka of Belarus warms up for practice at the 2018 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

It will be interesting to see if Sabalenka can maintain her strong form from the North American hard court swing throughout the remainder of the year. Sabalenka played career best tennis over the last few months, reaching the semi-final in Cincinnati, winning the title in New Haven and reaching the fourth round in New York. The early signs are that she may not be able to continue that form after an opening round loss in Quebec City at the hands of Varvara Lepchenko a few weeks ago. Sabalenka will need to quickly regain her rhythm for a tough opening round clash against Suarez Navarro in Wuhan.

Suarez Navarro also had a great North American hard court swing. Suarez Navarro reached the final in New Haven before claiming some big wins on route to a quarter-final showing at the US Open. Suarez Navarro will enter this match keen for revenge after she was comfortably beaten by Sabalenka in the New Haven final.

Sabalenka smashed Suarez Navarro 6-1 6-4 in their only previous clash last month in New Haven. Suarez Navarro was unable to handle the firepower of a red-hot Sabalenka on that occasion but seemingly have a greater chance heading into this match.

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

Petra Kvitova vs Dominika Cibulkova, Wuhan Final Preview

Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, Championship Match ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ
(14) ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Petra Kvitova vs (10) ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Dominika Cibulkova

Petra Kvitova and Dominika Cibulkova have both produced some outstanding tennis this week to defy the odds and reach the final of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open. A win here will keep Petra Kvitovaโ€™s slim hopes of qualifying for the WTA Finals alive whilst a win for Cibulkova will all but guarantee a spot in Singapore for the Slovakian in what would her first every appearance at the season finals.

Continue reading "Petra Kvitova vs Dominika Cibulkova, Wuhan Final Preview"

Agnieszka Radwanska vs Caroline Wozniacki, Wuhan R3 Preview

Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, Third Round ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ
(3) ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Agnieszka Radwanska vs ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Caroline Wozniacki

Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki will renew hostilities on Wednesday night when they meet at the third round stage of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open. Wozniacki has owned the head-to-head series between the pair in recent times having won the last four meetings between the pair, including a hard-fought three set win over the Pole last week in Tokyo. Continue reading "Agnieszka Radwanska vs Caroline Wozniacki, Wuhan R3 Preview"

Angelique Kerber vs Petra Kvitova, Wuhan R3 Preview

Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, Third Round ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ
(1) ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Angelique Kerber vs ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ (14) Petra Kvitova

Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova will go head-to-head for the tenth time when they meet at the third round stage of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open. Angelique Kerber is competing in her first tournament as the world number 1 and made a positive start to her Wuhan campaign on Tuesday. Continue reading "Angelique Kerber vs Petra Kvitova, Wuhan R3 Preview"

Simona Halep vs Yaroslava Shvedova, Wuhan R3 Preview

Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, Third Round ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ
(4) ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ดย Simona Halep vs ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฟย Yaroslava Shvedova

Simona Halep will be searching for her first win over Yaroslava Shvedova when the pair meet at the third round stage of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open. Shvedova eased past Halep 6-4 6-2 in their only previous meeting which took place at the 2012 Olympics on the grass of SW19. Shvedova enters this third round clash in great form and looms as a real threat to the fourth seeded Romanian.

Continue reading "Simona Halep vs Yaroslava Shvedova, Wuhan R3 Preview"

Agnieszka Radwanska vs Ekaterina Makarova, Wuhan R2 Preview

Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, Second Round ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ
(3) ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Agnieszka Radwanska vs ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Ekaterina Makarova

Agnieszka Radwanska will be wary of her first opponent at the 2016 Wuhan Open, Makarova has troubled Radwanska in the past and made a commanding start to her Wuhan campaign on Sunday evening with a thrashing of Sabine Lisicki.

Agnieszka Radwanska has been the most successful player during the Asian Swing over the last couple of years, winning more titles than anyone else. The Pole made another solid start in Asia last week where she reached the semi-final stage in Tokyo. However, the week ultimately ended in disappointment for the Pole as she squandered several significant leads before succumbing to Caroline Wozniacki in a tight third set in their semi-final match. Radwanska has a chance to climb up the rankings this week as she has no points to defend after falling in the first round in Wuhan last year.

Continue reading "Agnieszka Radwanska vs Ekaterina Makarova, Wuhan R2 Preview"

Roberta Vinci vs Yaroslava Shvedova, Wuhan R2 Preview

Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, Second Round ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ
(13) ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Roberta Vinci vs ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Yaroslava Shvedova

Two veterans of the tour will go head-to-head in what should be a tight second round match at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open on Tuesday. Vinci and Shvedova both won through to the second round with convincing straight set wins, both have been in good form of late.

Roberta Vinci has solidified her spot in the top 20 in season 2016, thanks largely to a solid run to the quarter-finals at the U.S Open earlier this month. Vinci was on a hot streak this time last year as she went on to reach the semi-finals in Wuhan, the zippy surface seems to suit the Italian. Vinciโ€™s 2016 Wuhan campaign got off to a flying start on Sunday when she comfortably dispatched Monica Puig 6-3 6-3, Vinci served particularly well throughout the match as she served 7 aces and did not face a break point for the entire match.

 

Yaroslava Shvedova also arrived in Wuhan with confidence after a pleasing run to the second week in New York earlier this month. The Kazakh is competing in Wuhan for the very first time and made a near flawless start on Sunday when she thumped Saisai Zheng 6-0 6-3. Shvedova was unstoppable in the first set before holding off a late fightback from Zheng. Shvedova also went through her opening match without being broken, a good sign for Shvedova.

This looks like a rare match-up on the WTA tour where holding serve is very important, particularly on this surface. This is an old-school match-up between two players that frequently move forward to the net, both have great volleying technique. There is little to separate the pair, but Vinci seemingly has a slight edge.

The Italian holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Shvedova. It was the Kazakh who won their most recent match earlier this year, a 6-0 4-6 6-3 win in Dubai. I suspect Vinci will avenge that loss on this occasion, both are capable of taking care of their service games but Vinciโ€™s baseline game is generally more consistent and therefore she will win in this match-up more often than not.

Prediction: Roberta Vinci to defeat Yaroslava Shvedova in 3 sets