Elena Vesnina vs Dominika Cibulkova, Sydney R2 Preview

Sydney International 🇦🇺🦈 R2 Preview
🇷🇺 Elena Vesnina vs 🇸🇰 Dominika Cibulkova

Elena Vesnina and Dominika Cibulkova both started their 2018 seasons with commanding first round victories in Sydney. Vesnina cruised past Lara Arruabarrena whilst Cibulkova smashed the 8th seeded Anastasija Sevastova. These two have a long history, the head-to-head record between the pair is level at 4 wins apiece, who will edge ahead in Sydney and reach the quarter-final stage?

Elena Vesnina was originally scheduled to start her season against Shuai Peng in the opening round in Sydney but the Chinese player withdrew prior to their match handing Lara Arruabarrena a lucky loser spot. Vesnina was far too good for the Spaniard, winning 6-2 6-2. Vesnina’s serve was not broken as she won over 80% of points behind her first serve. Vesnina will face a far tougher test when she comes up against Dominika Cibulkova who also rocketed through her opening match in Sydney.

Dominika Cibulkova got her 2018 campaign off the to the perfect start by claiming a commanding 6-3 6-1 win over Anastasija Sevastova. It was a tight opening to the match but Cibulkova’s relentless hitting from the baseline eventually got the better of the Latvian. Cibulkova was extremely clutch throughout the match, saving all 9 break points she faced.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 4 wins apiece. Cibulkova has had the better of this match-up in recent times having won 3 of their last 4 matches, including a 6-3 6-3 win in their most recent match in St. Petersburg last year. All 4 of Cibulkova’s wins over Vesnina were on a hard court.

Elena Vesnina vs Shuai Peng, Zhuhai Group Stage Preview

WTA Elite Trophy, 🇨🇳🌹🐉 Zhuhai RR Preview + Prediction
(6) 🇷🇺 Elena Vesnina vs (12/wc) 🇨🇳 Shuai Peng

The first of two dead rubbers to close out day 4 in Zhuhai sees Elena Vesnina come up against Shuai Peng. CoCo Vandeweghe confirmed that she would be the one to progress to the semi-finals in the bougainvillea group as she went 2-0 with a straight set win over Elena Vesnina on Thursday night, eliminating Vesnina and Peng from the tournament. It all means that there is little to play for here, pride and a positive finish to 2017 will be on the line, both have had good seasons and will want to enter the off-season with a victory.

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CoCo Vandeweghe vs Elena Vesnina, Zhuhai Group Stage Preview

WTA Elite Trophy, 🌹🐉 Zhuhai RR Preview + Prediction
(2) 🇺🇸 CoCo Vandeweghe vs (6) 🇷🇺 Elena Vesnina

CoCo Vandeweghe can secure top spot and a ticket into the semi-final in Zhuhai on Thursday night when she comes up against Russia’s Elena Vesnina in the final match of the day. Vandeweghe made a shaky start in her Zhuhai debut on day 1 of the tournament but rallied to claim a 3 set win over Shuai Peng. Elena Vesnina has had to wait a while to get her Zhuhai campaign off and running, the Russian will be looking to end one of her best seasons on tour with a strong showing in Zhuhai.

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Victoria Azarenka vs Elena Vesnina, Wimbledon R2 Preview

Wimbledon 🇬🇧💂🍓 Day 3, R2 Match Preview:
🇧🇾 Victoria Azarenka vs 🇷🇺 (15) Elena Vesnina

Victoria Azarenka claimed her first win at a Grand Slam since the 2016 Australian Open to book her spot in the second round at Wimbledon. The Belarusian says she is fitter than ever at the moment and is looking to play better tennis than she ever has, a real warning to the rest of the tour. Given the openness of the draw, Azarenka looms as a dark horse at SW19. After surviving a tough opening challenge against Catherine Bellis, Azarenka faces another tough test on Wednesday when she comes up against the 15th seeded Elena Vesnina.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs Elena Vesnina, Eastbourne R3 Preview

Aegon International, 🇬🇧 Eastbourne R3 Preview
(6) 🇩🇰 Caroline Wozniacki vs (12) 🇷🇺 Elena Vesnina

An interesting third round clash at the Aegon International in Eastbourne on Thursday sees the sixth seeded Caroline Wozniacki take on the twelfth seeded Elena Vesnina in a match featuring an intriguing contrast in styles. Vesnina is dangerous on a grass court given her ability at the net but Wozniacki is in rock-solid form and also thrives on grass. 

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Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Elena Vesnina, Indian Wells Final Preview

BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells, 🏆 Final Match Preview
(8) 🇷🇺 Svetlana Kuznetsova vs (14) 🇷🇺 Elena Vesnina

A totally unexpected championship match at the 2017 BNP Paribas Open sees compatriots Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Vesnina do battle. This will be a momentous occasion for both ladies at this stage of their respective careers. Kuznetsova has twice reached the final in Indian Wells and will be hoping for third time lucky as she looks for her first title in the Californian desert, for Vesnina this is the biggest final of her career and a surprise opportunity to win her first premier mandatory title. Kuznetsova and Vesnina have been Fed Cup teammates for almost a decade, adding another element of drama to this final.

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Venus Williams vs Elena Vesnina, Indian Wells QF Preview

BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells, QF #4 Match Preview
(12) 🇺🇸 Venus Williams vs (14) 🇷🇺 Elena Vesnina

The fourth and final quarter-final at the BNP Paribas Open features an unlikely match-up when Venus Williams come up against Elena Vesnina. What’s surprising heading into this clash is that Vesnina has a positive head-to-head recover over the American, Vesnina has won 3 of their 5 previous matches, including a memorable three set win over Williams in Miami last year. Venus will be desperate to reverse that record and will likely raise to the occasion at the business end of the tournament as she has often done in recent times.

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2017 WTA Brisbane International Tournament Preview

Season 2017 has arrived, the Brisbane International will once again be the headline act in the first week of the WTA calendar. Five of the world’s top ten ranked players will be in action in Brisbane: 2016 Grand Slam champions Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza as well as Dominika Cibulkova, Karolina Pliskova and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

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Serena Williams vs Elena Vesnina, Wimbledon SF Preview

Wimbledon 🇬🇧🍓 Semi-Final #1 Match Preview + Prediction
(1) 🇺🇸 Serena Williams vs 🇷🇺 Elena Vesnina

Serena Williams is just two wins away from claiming a historic 22nd Grand Slam title. The world number 1 will enter her 10th Wimbledon semi-final as an overwhelming favorite when she comes up against first time Grand Slam semi-finalist Elena Vesnina. Serena will not be taking her opponent lightly given what happened to the American at this stage of the U.S Open last year where she suffered a shock loss to Roberta Vinci.

 

Serena got off to a relatively slow start at this year’s championships but arrives at the semi-final stage of the event in ominous form. Serena seemed to be sparked into action after her second round scare against Christina McHale where the world number one was surprisingly pushed into a tight third set. Since that match Serena has claimed three comprehensive straight set victories on route to the final four. A 6-3 6-0 win over Annika Beck, a 7-5 6-0 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova before booking her spot in an 8th consecutive Grand Slam semi-final with a 6-4 6-4 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

A resurgent Elena Vesnina is into her first Grand Slam semi-final, an achievement that seemed impossible earlier this year when Vesnina was ranked outside the top 100 and failed to qualify for the Australian Open main draw. Vesnina cruised through the first week without dropping a set, claiming straight set victories over Tamira Paszek, Andrea Petkovic and Julia Boserup. Vesnina's greatest challenge came at the fourth round stage where she claimed an extremely hard-fought 5-7 6-1 9-7 victory over Ekaterina Makarova. Vesnina booked a maiden Grand Slam semi-final singles appearance with a 6-2 6-2 win over a fatigued Dominika Cibulkova.

 

Serena Williams holds a perfect 4-0 head-to-head record over Elena Vesnina. All four of Serena’s victories over the Russian were comfortable straight set victories, including a 6-2 6-2 win in Beijing back in 2013 in their most recent encounter.

Serena should win this match quite comfortably. The world number 1 has looked closer to her best in her last couple of matches and seems as determined as ever to succeed. Vesnina does have an awkward game that may cause Serena a few problems but ultimately Serena is far too powerful and far more experienced on this stage and should claim a straight set win.

Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Elena Vesnina in 2 sets

Simona Halep vs Elena Vesnina, Doha R2 Preview

Doha R2: (2) Simona Halep vs (Q) Elena Vesnina

2014 Qatar Total Open Champion Simona Halep will begin her 2016 Doha campaign on Tuesday evening with a second round clash against the experienced Russian qualifier Elena Vesnina. Simona has made a really disappointing start to the season and will be desperate to spend as much time as possible on court this week in Doha with Indian Well and Miami just around the corner, the Romanian can’t afford to arrive at those events totally deprived of confidence given the amount of points she has to defend during those events.

Simona Halep has lost 3 of her last 4 matches including a first up defeat in Dubai last week. Simona was unable to come close to defending her title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, suffering a straight set loss to Ana Ivanovic in her first match of the event. The Romanian has been unable to totally recover from her shock first round loss to Shuai Zhang at the Australian Open, Simona seems to be lacking confidence ever since that loss and is a shadow of the player that won the title in Doha back in 2014. It is critical for Simona to have a good week in Doha, if Simona continues to struggle over the next couple of weeks her ranking will drop dramatically given she is the defending champion at Indian Wells and is defending semi-finalist points in Miami.

 

Elena Vesnina also had a disappointing Australian summer but is showing signs of improvement this week in Doha. The Russian came through the qualifying draw in style, recording straight set victories over Ons Jabeur and Naomi Broady. Vesnina’s form translated into main draw success on Monday when she recorded a surprise 6-3 7-5 victory over Caroline Garcia.

Halep and Vesnina have never played a completed match against each other. Usually Halep would enter this match as a clear favourite, however the Romanian’s form is certainly far from her best right now and Vesnina is the type of opponent that will make life very difficult for Halep if the Romanian is having a bad night. Vesnina also has the added advantage of having already played 3 matches this week in Doha and is playing pretty good tennis week. I’m still going to stick with Halep, I suspect this will be a really close match but the Romanian should ultimately prevail in what is a critical match for the world number 4.

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Elena Vesnina in 3 sets


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