Angelique Kerber vs Donna Vekic, Australian Open R2 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R2 Preview
🇩🇪 (21) Angelique Kerber vs 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Angelique Kerber continues her 2018 Australian Open campaign on Thursday with a second round clash against Donna Vekic. Kerber heads into this match on a 10-match winning streak having won all of her matches at the Hopman Cup and winning the title in Sydney last week. An interesting side note heading into this match is that Vekic is now working with Torben Beltz, Kerber’s long time former coach.

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Kerber is the form player on tour right now, the 2016 Australian Open champion is playing well enough to suggest that she can be a title contender this week in Melbourne. Kerber got off to a brilliant start with a 6-0 6-4 win over Anna-Lena Friedsam. Kerber rocketed through the opening set before facing a tough test from her compatriot. The former world number 1 came up with some brilliant play towards the end of the match to get past the dangerous 23-year-old.

Donna Vekic has made a reasonable start to the new year. Vekic made it to the quarter-final stage in Hobart last week thanks to a few straight set wins over decent opposition. Vekic made a good start in Melbourne, claiming a 7-5 6-3 win over Nao Hibino.

The only previous match between the pair took place last year at the Rogers Cup. Kerber won a hard-fought match 6-4 7-6.

Donna Vekic vs Heather Watson, Hobart QF Preview

Hobart International 🇦🇺🌧️ QF Preview
🇭🇷 Donna Vekic vs (Q) 🇬🇧 Heather Watson

2015 Hobart International champion Heather Watson will be back in action on Thursday where she takes on Donna Vekic at the quarter-final stage. Watson has done things the hard week this week, the Brit was forced to battle her way through the qualifying draw, not the position Watson is used to finding herself in at an international level event. Watson will face a tough test against Vekic, the young Croatian has rocketed through to the quarter-finals in Hobart without dropping a set.

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Vekic has made a good start to her first appearance at the Hobart International. Vekic started the week with a commanding 6-4 6-2 win over Tatjana Maria before getting past a wayward Marketa Voundrosova 6-4 6-4. These have been an important couple of wins for Vekic after the a tough 3 set loss to Flipkens in the first round in Auckland last week.

Heather Watson has already won 4 matches this week having come through the qualifying draw. Watson started the event with an easy win over Kimberly Birrell before coming from a set down to beat Nao Hibino and book her spot in the main draw. Watson eliminated the 3rd seeded Sorana Cirstea 7-5 6-3 In the opening round, a big win for the Brit. Watson cruised into the quarter-finals with a 6-2 6-2 win over Jaimee Fourlis.

The only previous match between the pair ended in a 6-3 4-6 7-5 win for Vekic on clay in Charleston in 2015.

Shuai Peng vs Donna Vekic, U.S Open R2 Preview

US Open, 🇺🇸🍎🗽🚕 R2 Preview + Prediction
(22) 🇨🇳 Shuai Peng vs 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Shuai Peng and Donna Vekic will go head-to-head for the first time in an interesting second round clash on Wednesday at Flushing Meadows. Peng and Vekic both cruised through their opening round matches on Monday and will see this match as a good opportunity to reach the third round at the final Grand Slam of the year. Peng claimed a comfortable 6-4 6-1 win over Amandine Hesse whilst Donna Vekic thrashed Beatriz Maia Haddad 6-2 6-1.

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Johanna Konta vs Donna Vekic, Wimbledon R2 Preview

Wimbledon 🇬🇧💂🍓 Day 3, R2 Match Preview:
(6) 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Johanna Konta continues her quest to become the first British women’s winner at Wimbledon since Virginia Wade in 1977. Konta will come up against rising-star Donna Vekic in the second round, an opponent that defeated Konta just a few weeks ago in the Nottingham final on grass. Konta will be much more alert heading into this clash and will be eager to avenge her recent shock loss to Vekic and keep her Wimbledon dream alive.

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Carla Suarez Navarro vs Donna Vekic, Doha R2 Preview

Doha R2: (8) Carla Suarez Navarro vs (Q) Donna Vekic

Donna Vekic is starting to find some much needed form in Doha but faces a tough task in the second round at the Qatar Total Open when she comes up against the eighth seeded Carla Suarez Navarro. The Spaniard has generally made a positive start to the season and will be extra motivated for a good week in Doha after a disappointing first round loss in Dubai last week.

Carla had a great Australian summer, reaching the semi-finals in Brisbane and the quarter-final at the Australian Open but made a slow start to the Middle Eastern swing last week in Dubai. Carla suffered a three set loss to Caroline Garcia in her opening round clash. It was a bad loss for Carla given she was in a winning position when she led by a set and 4-3 and had game points for 5-3. Carla’s level deteriorated as the match wore on and as the pressure intensified. The Spaniard would have been disappointed with that loss and will be eager for a better week. 

 

Donna Vekic recorded two tough victories to reach the main draw in Doha, claiming tight three set wins over Kai-Lin Zhang and Andrea Hlavackova. The Croatian made the most of a very favourable draw to claim her first main draw victory at the premier level for the first time since Madrid last year. Vekic stormed past local wild card Fatima Al-Nabhani 6-0 6-0 with total ease. Life will get much tougher for Vekic in the second round when she takes on Suarez Navarro.

This will be the first career meeting between Carla and Donna. The Croatian has the advantage of having already played three matches this week in Doha so she will be well acclimatised to the conditions. However, I don’t think Donna will enjoy much success in this match-up. Vekic hasn’t had any success against players of Carla’s calibre in recent times. Carla’s defensive skills are likely to really frustrate an often impatient Vekic and draw a large number of errors from the Croatian’s racquet. I suspect Carla will win this pretty comfortably.

Prediction: Carla Suarez Navarro to defeat Donna Vekic in 2 sets


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Eugenie Bouchard vs Donna Vekic, Shenzhen R1 Preview

Shenzhen R1: (6) Eugenie Bouchard vs Donna Vekic

The most exciting first round match-up at the Shenzhen Open sees Eugenie Bouchard and Donna Vekic go head-to-head for the very first time. Both Eugenie and Donna were in the news for the wrong reason in 2015 and will be keen to make the headlines due to improved results in 2016. This is an important match for both ladies, especially Bouchard who will desperately want to avoid a disappointing first round loss to start the season.

Eugenie Bouchard is yet to complete a match since she sustained a head injury prior to her fourth round clash at the U.S Open. That injury came at a terrible time for Eugenie, just as she was seemingly starting to find some form after a terrible string of results prior to the event. I expect 2016 to be a much better year for Eugenie, she is undoubtedly much more talented than her current ranking of 49 suggests. It is important for Bouchard to gather some winning momentum over the next couple of weeks where she will play back-to-back international events in Shenzhen and Hobart before the Australian Open.

 

Donna Vekic had a reasonable year in 2015 but she is still ranked just outside the top 100 and will be looking to rapidly improve her ranking in season 2016. This is a big year for Vekic, she now has enough experience under her belt and should be making a push towards the top 50. Vekic was a late entrant into the Shenzhen main draw courtesy of some late withdrawals. The Croatian should see this match as a real opportunity to claim a big scalp early in the season.

This will be an interesting first encounter between the pair. Both love to take the ball early and dictate play.Ultimately, Bouchard should be too strong in this match-up. The Canadian has had a couple of hits in Shenzhen to get used to the conditions and is seemingly fit and ready to go. It would be pretty disastrous for Bouchard to start the year with another first round loss, I expect a focused and determined Bouchard to get the job done here.

Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard to defeat Donna Vekic in 2 sets