Elina Svitolina vs. Venus Williams, Roland Garros R1 Preview

🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, R1 Preview
🇺🇦 (9) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇺🇸 Venus Williams

The pick of the opening round match-ups in Paris sees the 9th seeded Elina Svitolina take on Venus Williams. Svitolina is still desperately searching for a maiden Grand Slam title whilst Williams is the most experienced player on tour and can never be underestimated. Can Williams produce another vintage performance to eliminate the 9th seed?

Venus Williams of the United States practices ahead of the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina arrives in Paris on the back of her worst clay court lead-up ever. Svitolina has not won a match on clay in 2019 having suffered opening round losses in Madrid and Rome. Svitolina was beaten by Pauline Parmentier in Madrid and beaten by Victoria Azarenka in Rome where she was the two-time defending champion. Perhaps Svitolina’s poor form will be a blessing in disguise, she is fresh and has less expectations from the critics given her recent struggles on court.

Roland Garros has always been the most troublesome major for Venus Williams but she has been competitive on the surface in recent times. Venus reached the second week in Paris in 2016 and 2017 and is always a threat, no matter the circumstances. Venus played just the one clay court event prior to Paris where she reached the third round in Rome, Venus claimed an epic 3 set win over Elise Mertens in the first round in Rome, in a match that proved Venus is still capable on the red dirt, even in a lengthy battle.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. The most recent match between the pair took place n Cincinnati in 2017, Svitolina claimed a comfortable 6-2 6-1 win on that occasion, Interestingly, it was Venus who won their only previous match on a clay court, a 6-4 6-3 win in Rome in 2015.

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Elina Svitolina vs. Bianca Andreescu, Indian Wells SF Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – SF Preview
🇺🇦 (6) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇨🇦 (wc) Bianca Andreescu

A pair of first-time BNP Paribas Open semi-finalists will go head-to-head on Friday when the 6th seeded Elina Svitolina takes on Canadian wild card Bianca Andreescu. This will be the first career meeting between Svitolina and Andreescu, it will be interesting to see how the Andreescu game stacks up against Svitolina. Andreescu has been the fairy tale story of the tournament thus far but this is arguably her greatest test yet, can the 18 year-old keep her magical run going or will Svitolina be too strong?

Bianca Andreescu of Canada in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina has done things the hard way on route to her first semi-final appearance at the BNP Paribas Open. Svitolina received a bye through the first round before coming very close to elimination in her opening match where she fought past Sofia Kenin 3-6 7-6 6-4. Svitolina’s only straight set win this tournament came at the third round stage where she defeated Daria Gavrilova 7-5 6-4. Svitolina then outlasted Barty in a 3-hour epic, the longest match of the season thus far, a 7-6 5-7 6-4 win for the Ukrainian. Svitolina confirmed her spot in the semi-finals with another tough win, a gutsy 4-6 6-4 6-4 win over Marketa Vondrousova. Luckily for Svitolina she got a day off before her semi-final match.

Winning has become a habit for Bianca Andreescu in 2019. Andreescu has won more matches than anyone else on tour in 2019 having already won a whopping 26 matches across all competitions. Andreescu’s level has improved throughout the tournament in Indian Wells. Andreescu started the week with a 3 set win over Irina-Camelia Begu, her only dropped set of the tournament thus far. Andreescu went on to comfortably defeat Dominika Cibulkova, Stefanie Voegele and Qiang Wang in straight sets. Andreescu’s most impressive performance came at the quarter-final stage where she thrashed Garbine Muguruza 6-0 6-1.

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Elina Svitolina vs. Ashleigh Barty, Indian Wells R4 Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R4 Preview
🇺🇦 (6) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇦🇺 (12) Ashleigh Barty

Elina Svitolina and Ashleigh Barty will renew hostilities on Tuesday at the BNP Paribas Open with a spot in the quarter-finals up for grabs. Svitolina has dominated this match-up, the Ukrainian has won all 4 of the previous meetings between the pair. Nevertheless, Barty is arguably in the best form of her career and will be very keen to finally grab a victory over Svitolina and more importantly reach the final 8 of a major event.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia in action during her third-round match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina will be trying to make the most of her second life in Indian Wells, over the next week, the Ukrainian could have easily been dumped from the tournament in her first match this week where she was forced to come from behind against an in-form Sofia Kenin to claim a 3-6 7-6 6-3 victory. Svitolina was again forced to work hard for her third round victory as she defeated Daria Gavrilova 7-5 6-4 in a tough contest.

Ash Barty is just one win away from securing a place in the top 10 for the first time. Barty has made a great start to the season, amassing a 14/3 win/loss record across all competitions. Barty has fairly comfortably moved through her first couple of matches at the BNP Paribas Open with straight set wins over Tatjana Maria and Jennifer Brady, Svitolina will be much greater test for Barty in the next round.

Svitolina holds a perfect 4-0 record over Barty. Svitolina has won the last 3 matches between the pair in straight sets, including a 7-5 6-4 victory in their most recent match in Miami last year. Can an in-form Barty finally pick up her first career win over Svitolina?

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Elina Svitolina vs. Sofia Kenin, Indian Wells R2 Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R2 Preview
🇺🇦 (6) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇺🇸 Sofia Kenin

Elina Svitolina and Sofia Kenin will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the second round stage of the 2019 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The 6th seeded Svitolina received a bye through the opening round in the Californian desert whilst Kenin battled from a set down to defeat Yafan Wang, avenging her loss to Wang in the Acapulco final just last week.

Elina Svitolina has made a typically decent start to the year, headlined by a quarter-final showing at the Australian Open and more recently back-to-back semi-final appearances in Doha and Dubai. On paper these results look good but unfortunately for Svitolina she has consistently lost in the really important matches which has been the case all her career.

Sofia Kenin has had a busy couple of weeks. The young American arrives in Indian Wells fresh from a runner-up appearance in Acapulco where she lost from a set and a break up against Yafan Wang. Kenin got another shot at Wang in the opening round at the BNP Paribas Open and narrowly escaped another painful loss with a 1-6 7-5 6-4 victory. Kenin squandered a double break lead in the deciding set against Wang before pulling it together right in time by winning the last 3 games of a dramatic match where the American hit well over 50 unforced errors.

Kenin has troubled the best players in the world in the past, most recently she pushed Simona Halep all the way at the third round stage of the Australian Open, can Kenin use her immense power to take down the 6th seed in Indian Wells?

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Sloane Stephens vs. Elina Svitolina, Singapore Final Preview

🇸🇬 WTA FINALS, Singapore – Final Preview
🇺🇸 (5) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇺🇦 (6) Elina Svitolina

Sunday’s final in Singapore promises to be a blockbuster encounter as Sloane Stephens takes on Elina Svitolina. Stephens and Svitolina have undoubtedly been the two best players all week, each winning all of their group stage matches plus tough semi-final victories. On paper this is an extremely even match-up, both have very similar strengths and weaknesses and have both been playing great tennis this week. Who will raise their level when it matters most to claim a maiden WTA Finals crown?

Sloane Stephens’ route to the Final:

RR1: Naomi Osaka 7-5 4-6 6-1
RR2: Kiki Bertens 7-6 2-6 6-3
RR3: Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-3
SF: Karolina Pliskova 0-6 6-4 6-1

Sloane Stephens of the United States in action during her semifinal match at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Sloane Stephens made a miraculous recovery to book her spot in the Singapore final. Stephens trailed Karolina Pliskova 0-6 0-2 15-40 and was seemingly down and out. Stephens managed to break from 40-15 down as she went on to win 12 of the last 15 games. Once Stephens got going her athleticism was too much for Pliskova to handle, this has been the case for each of Sloane’s opponents this week. If anyone can match Sloane’s athleticism it is a red-hot Svitolina…

Elina Svitolina’s route to the Final:

RR1: Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-3
RR2: Karolina Pliskova 6-3 2-6 6-3
RR3: Caroline Wozniacki 5-7 7-5 6-3
SF: Kiki Bertens 7-5 6-7 6-4

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in action during her semifinal at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina has produced the best tennis we have seen from her since the first half of the year where she won 3 titles. Svitolina has overcome several tough situations to reach the biggest final of her career. Svitolina’s greatest test came at the semi-final stage where she battled past Kiki Bertens in 3 extremely tight sets. The standout feature of Svitolina’s week has been her outstanding attitude and toughness in the critical moments, it has been Svitolina at her very best.

Sloane Stephens has the slight edge in the H2H between the pair, leading 2-1. Stephens has won both of the previous matches between the two on a hard court, including a 6-3 6-3 victory at the semi-final stage in Montreal earlier this year.

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Elina Svitolina vs. Kiki Bertens, Singapore SF Preview

🇸🇬 WTA Finals, Singapore SF #1 Preview
🇺🇦 (6) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇳🇱 (8) Kiki Bertens

Saturday’s first semi-final in Singapore sees Elina Svitolina take on Kiki Bertens. This is a huge opportunity for both players, both will be competing at the semi-final stage at the WTA Finals for the first time from limited experience at the event. Svitolina was the most impressive player in the white group, winning all 3 of her matches whilst Bertens continues to defy the odds in 2018. Svitolina will enter this match as the favourite but Bertens fancies an upset, she has secured the most top 10 wins of any player in 2018, can she do it again here?

Elina Svitolina’s route to the semi-finals:

(W) vs. Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-3
(W) vs. Karolina Pliskova 6-3 2-6 6-3
(W) vs. Caroline Wozniacki 5-7 7-5 6-3

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine celebrates qualifying for the semifinal stage of the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina has been back to her fighting best in Singapore this week, playing with the perfect mix aggression and defense. Svitolina’s form was poor heading into Singapore but she has been the most impressive player throughout the group stage. Svitolina won all 3 of her matches in the white group including a couple of tough 3 set victories. Svitolina started her second consecutive Singapore campaign with a reasonably comfortable straight set win over Petra Kvitova before battling past Karolina Pliskova and Caroline Wozniacki in 3 sets to reach the final 4 at the WTA Finals for the first time. Svitolina’s win over Wozniacki was particularly impressive, it was Svitolina who came out on top in the critical second set, a gutsy effort to outlast a desperate Wozniacki. Svitolina has been fired up all tournament, clearly desperate to reverse her form slump and end the year on a high.

Kiki Bertens’ route to the semi-finals:

(W) vs. Angelique Kerber 1-6 6-3 6-4
(L) vs. Sloane Stephens 6-7 6-2 3-6
(W) vs. Naomi Osaka 6-3 RET.

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action during her third match at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Kiki Bertens is only playing in Singapore because of the late withdrawal of Simona Halep. Bertens is certainly making the most of this opportunity by reaching the final 4 in her WTA Finals debut. Bertens started the event with a great comeback win against Angelique Kerber, Bertens came from 1-6 0-2 down to beat Kerber before succumbing to Sloane Stephens in a tight 3 set match. Bertens secured her spot in the semi-finals with a victory via retirement over Naomi Osaka, another fortunate break for Bertens. Bertens will face her biggest test yet against Svitolina in the semi-finals.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Svitolina defeated Bertens in 3 sets in Zhuhai in 2016 whilst more recently Bertens claimed a 6-4 6-3 win at the quarter-final stage in Cincinnati earlier this year. This is an interesting match-up because of the contrast in styles, the type of match-up that seemingly lends itself to producing close matches.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs. Elina Svitolina, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, White Group match preview
🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇺🇦 (6) Elina Svitolina

The final match from the white group will see defending champion Caroline Wozniacki take on a red-hot Elina Svitolina in what looms as a blockbuster match. This match will be critical in deciding who advances to the semi-finals in the white group. Svitolina is in prime position after winning her few matches but she is not guaranteed a position in the semi-finals. Wozniacki must win this match to have a chance of qualifying but may need to win in straight sets depending on the previous result.

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action during her second match at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Caroline Wozniacki started her title defense in Singapore with a disappointing straight set loss to Karolina Pliskova. Wozniacki rebounded strongly as she defeated Petra Kvitova in 3 sets. Wozniacki’s willingness to be a bit more aggressive in the important moments was part of why she got over the line against Kvitova and she will need to be very aggressive if she is to beat Svitolina on Thursday, an opponent she has struggled against in the past.

Elina Svitolina has been the most impressive player of the tournament thus far. Svitolina started her Singapore campaign with a straight set win over Petra Kvitova and continued her strong form in the next match where she defeated Karolina Pliskova in 3 sets. The second half of the season has been disappointing for Svitolina but she can finish the season off on a high in Singapore. Svitolina’s level over the first few matches this week is arguably the best she has played since Rome earlier this year.

Svitolina holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Wozniacki. Svitolina won the first 3 matches between the pair including 2 commanding straight set wins in a pair of finals in Dubai and Toronto last year. The most recent match between the pair was in Singapore last year where Wozniacki won 6-2 6-0 against a wayward Svitolina.

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Elina Svitolina vs. Karolina Pliskova, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, White Group match preview
🇺🇦 (6) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇨🇿 (7) Karolina Pliskova

The first spot in the semi-finals at this year’s WTA Finals will be up for grabs when Elina Svitolina takes on Karolina Pliskova in the second match from the white group on Tuesday. Svitolina and Pliskova both made bright starts to their Singapore campaigns with straight set victories over more fancied opponents. This is an interesting match-up because of the contrast in styles, Pliskova has generally had the wood over Svitolina but the Ukrainian has already defied a poor head-to-head record this week and will fancy her chances of doing the same here.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in action during her first match at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina began her second consecutive appearance in Singapore with a noteworthy 6-3 6-3 win over Petra Kvitova. It was clear that Svitolina was pumped for this match and she gave very, very little away on route to victory. Svitolina was at her solid best, a perfect mix of attack and defense totally bamboozled Kvitova. Svitolina will know that a similar style of play will likely get the better of Pliskova here.

Karolina Pliskova was also impressive in her first round victory as she makes her third consecutive appearance in Singapore, defeating defending champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-4. What stood out in Pliskova’s win was her play under pressure, Pliskova saved all 10 break points she faced to remain perfect on serve throughout the match. Pliskova’s aggressive play was too much for Wozniacki to handle, a similar style of play will be required to get the better of Svitolina.

Pliskova holds a 5-2 head-to-head record over Svitolina. However, Svitolina has won the last couple of matches between the pair. The most recent match between the two took place in Brisbane earlier this year, Svitolina won that match 7-5 7-5.

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Petra Kvitova vs. Elina Svitolina, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, White Group match preview
🇨🇿 (4) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇺🇦 (6) Elina Svitolina

The 2018 WTA Finals Singapore begins on Sunday evening with a white group clash between Petra Kvitova and Elina Svitolina. Kvitova heads into this match as the favourite, mostly thanks to her dominant 7-1 head-to-head record over Svitolina. However, Svitolina is never a pushover and will fancy her chances against a potentially rusty Kvitova. Can Svitolina start the tournament with an upset victory?

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic during practice ahead of the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova will be competing in Singapore for the first time since her runner-up finish in 2015. Kvitova has had an outstanding season having won 5 titles. However, Kvitova has not found her best tennis in the biggest events, Kvitova had only won 2 matches at Grand Slam events in 2018, the WTA finals presents itself as a shot at redemption as the largest tournament outside the Grand Slam events. Kvitova has won this tournament before, back in 2011 in Istanbul.

Elina Svitolina’s form has really dropped away in the second half of the season so she too has a point to prove in Singapore. Svitolina’s results during the Asian swing were very poor by her usual standards, opening round defeats in Wuhan and Beijing highlighted her recent misery. Svitolina will be competing in Singapore for the second time, she made her tournament debut last year where she failed to get through the group stage.

Kvitova holds a 7-1 record over Svitolina and has won the last 7 matches between the pair, a surprisingly dominant record given how tough Svitolina usually is to beat. Indeed, Kvitova has dominated Svitolina like no other player has been able to do, 6 of Kvitova’s wins over Svitolina were in straight sets including a 6-4 7-5 win in Doha earlier this year in their most recent match.

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Elina Svitolina vs. Tatjana Maria, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇺🇦 (5) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇩🇪 Tatjana Maria

The 5th seeded Elina Svitolina looms as one of the most vulnerable top seeded players in the early stages at Wimbledon. Svitolina has drawn a potentially tricky early round opponent in the form of Tatjana Maria. The German arrives at Wimbledon full of confidence having won the first title of her career in Mallorca a few weeks ago.

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in action during the quarterfinals at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina’s disappointing Grand Slam record has continued in 2018. The Ukrainian suffered a shock third round exit at Roland Garros at the hands of Mihaela Buzarnescu, a tournament where she was favoured to win the title. Unfortunately for Svitolina her chances of breaking her Grand Slam duck seem unlikely at Wimbledon, Svitolina’s record at SW19 is not great, having only reached the second week on 1 occasion, a fourth round showing last year. Svitolina played one event in the lead-up to Wimbledon, a decent quarter-final showing in Birmingham.

At the age of 30 Tatjana Maria won a maiden WTA title in Mallorca a few weeks ago and thus she arrives at Wimbledon on a 6-match winning streak. Maria beat several quality opponents in Mallorca, 3 set wins over Anett Kontaveit and Lucie Safarova and a straight set win over Anastasija Sevastova in the final. Maria’s game is well suited to grass because of her strong slice and willingness to move forward.

The only previous match between the pair ended in a 6-2 6-2 win for Svitolina in Beijing in 2016.

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