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.

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

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.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match Click here

Sloane Stephens vs. Donna Vekic, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇺🇸 (4) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

The fourth seeded Sloane Stephens faces a tough opening round test at Wimbledon when she comes up against Croatia’s Donna Vekic. Stephens has not played a match on grass in 2018 whilst Vekic played 3 tournaments in the lead-up to SW19 with decent results. Vekic has a powerful game that can trouble Stephens if the American gets off to a slow start.

Donna Vekic of Croatia in action at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Grass is arguably Sloane Stephens’ worst surface, her recent results suggest that this is the case. Stephens has not played a match since her 3 set loss to Simona Halep in the Roland Garros final a month ago, it is tough to know what to expect for her in London. One thing is certain, Stephens has made a habit of playing her best tennis on the biggest stages.

Conversely, grass is Vekic’s best surface. Vekic started her grass court campaign in Nottingham where she reached the semi-finals before suffering a couple of early round exits in Birmingham and Eastbourne. Vekic was beaten by Svitolina in 3 sets in Birmingham, and a Barbora Strycova in straight sets in Eastbourne.

It was Stephens who won the only previous match between the pair, a 5-7 6-2 6-2 win on clay in Strasbourg in 2016. Vekic’s chances on grass increase significantly in this match-up.

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

Elina Svitolina vs. Mihaela Buzarnescu, Birmingham QF Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham QF Preview
🇺🇦 (2/wc) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇷🇴 Mihaela Buzarnescu

Elina Svitolina will get a shot at revenge when she comes up against Mihaela Buzarnescu at the quarter-final stage in Birmingham on Friday. Buzarnescu stunned Svitolina at Roland Garros a few weeks ago, the Romanian eliminated the tournament favourite at the third round stage in what was a devastating loss for the Ukrainian. Can Buzarnescu cause another upset on a surface Svitolina is seemingly vulnerable on?

Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania in action at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Svitolina is having a good week in Birmingham, it is important for her to have a great in Birmingham to gain confidence on grass, a surface she has comparatively struggled on in the past. The second seed started the event with a topsy-turvy 3 set win over Donna Vekic before producing a much more consistent level to cruise by Alize Cornet 6-4 6-2. It is clear that Svitolina is trying to be far more aggressive which is certainly the right attitude on this surface.

Mihaela Buzarnescu is arguably the most improved player in 2018, at the age of 30! The Romanian is now into back-to-back quarter-finals on grass having reached the final 8 in Nottingham last week. Buzarnescu has made a habit of winning tight matches in recent times, that has been the case in Birmingham this week where she has claimed a couple of 3 set wins, a 6-3 4-6 6-0 win over Timea Babos and 4-6 6-3 6-2 over Petra Martic.

It was Buzarnescu who won the only previous match between the pair, a 6-3 7-5 victory at Roland Garros a few weeks ago. If Buzarnescu can beat Svitolina on clay, she surely has a chance at beating her on grass a few weeks later?

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

Elina Svitolina vs. Donna Vekic, Birmingham R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham R1 Preview
🇺🇦 (2) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Elina Svitolina begins her 2018 grass court campaign in Birmingham with an opening round showdown against Donna Vekic. Svitolina suffered yet another setback at Roland Garros a few weeks ago, a shock third round exit at the hands of Mihaela Buzarnescu. Grass is considered Svitolina’s worst surface, so it will be interesting to see how she performs over the next month and whether she can contend for the biggest titles.

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine practices at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Svitolina continues to impress at the premier level before collapsing at Grand Slam events, a very disappointing trend for the Ukrainian. But, it is good news for her chances in Birmingham, these are the types of events Svitolina has been so efficient at over the last few years. However, grass is easily Svitolina’s least successful surface, and she has never made it passed the second round in Birmingham.

Donna Vekic started her grass court campaign in Nottingham last week. Vekic failed to defend her title in Nottingham but she still had a good week as she reached the semi-finals before succumbing to Johanna Konta in straight sets. Vekic enjoys playing on grass, her game is very much suited to the quick surface.

Svitolina holds a perfect 3-0 record over Vekic. The most recent match between the pair was on clay in Marrakesh in 2015, a comfortable 6-2 6-2 for Svitolina. This will be their first match on a grass court, a surface that seemingly gives Vekic some kind of a chance at an upset.

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

Elina Svitolina vs. Mihaela Buzarnescu, Roland Garros R3 Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, R3 Preview
🇺🇦 (4) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇷🇴 (31) Mihaela Buzarnescu

Elina Svitolina continues her quest for a maiden Grand Slam title on Friday where she comes up against the 31st seeded Mihaela Buzarnescu at the third round stage at Roland Garros. Buzarnescu looms as a significant test for Svitolina, Buzarnescu cruised through her first few matches in Paris and has been in good form of late, can the Romanian cause a big upset?

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in action during her second-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina remains the favourite to win the tournament. The Ukrainian is on a 7-match winning streak having won the title in Rome prior to arriving in Paris, Svitolina has actually won 10 consecutive sets and is looking extremely solid at the moment. The 4th seed started her Roland Garros campaign with a couple of hard-fought victories, 7-5 6-3 over Ajla Tomljanovic and 6-3 6-4 over Viktoria Kuzmova. Svitolina raised her level at the end of each set, her composure and consistency under pressure is the hallmark of her game at the moment.

Mihaela Buzarnescu is into the third round of a Grand Slam for the very first time. At the age of 30 Buzarnescu is reaching career highs at the moment. This is the first time Buzarnescu is seeded at a Grand Slam, it was only last year at the U.S Open that she made her main draw debut at a Grand Slam. The Romanian has easily progressed through her first few matches in Paris, 6-3 6-3 over Vania King and 6-1 6-2 over Rebecca Peterson.

This will be the first career meeting between Svitolina and Buzarnescu.

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

Elina Svitolina vs. Viktoria Kuzmova, Roland Garros R2 Preview

Roland Garros, R2 Preview
🇺🇦 (4) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇸🇰 Viktoria Kuzmova

Elina Svitolina continues her quest for a maiden Grand Slam title on Wednesday where she comes up against Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova at the second round stage in Paris. Svitolina may be the tournament favourite but she suffered a big scare in her opening round match with Ajla Tomljanovic as she conceded a large early lead. Svitolina will be hoping for a quicker start here and a more comfortable victory against an inexperienced opponent.

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in action during her first round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Svitolina was expected to cruise through her opening round match with Ajla Tomljanovic but the Ukrainian quickly found herself down 1-5 in the opening set. The 4th seed wasn’t fazed and kept plugging away, ultimately surviving set point and winning 6 games in a row in the opening set before cruising to victory in the second, a 7-5 6-3 win. Perhaps that opening round test will be just what Svitolina needs to find her a-game in Paris.

Viktoria Kuzmova is into the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career courtesy of a hard-fought 7-6 7-6 victory over Francesca Schiavone in the opening round. Kuzmova is a player on the rise, Kuzmova has won a couple of titles at the ITF level in 2018 and had a breakthrough run at a tour level event in a run to the semi-finals at Budapest earlier this year.

This will be the first career meeting between Svitolina and Kuzmova, Svitolina will enter this match as a huge favourite.

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

Elina Svitolina vs. Carla Suarez Navarro, Madrid R2 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Preview
🇺🇦 (4) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇪🇸 Carla Suarez Navarro

One of the standout second round matches at the Mutua Madrid Open sees the 4th seeded Elina Svitolina take on Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. This has historically been a very even match-up, the H2H series between the pair reflects this, a 3-3 H2H record. Svitolina will enter this clash eager for revenge after Suarez Navarro shocked the Ukrainian in their most recent match, a straight set win for the Spaniard at the third round stage at Indian Wells. Can Suarez Navarro cause Svitolina more grief in front of her home fans in the Spanish capital?

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Svitolina and Suarez Navarro both cruised through their opening round matches in Madrid against decent opposition. Svitolina defeated Alize Cornet 6-2 6-2 whilst Suarez Navarro beat Barbora Strycova 6-3 6-3. Cornet and Strycova are both solid opposition meaning both Svitolina and Suarez Navarro have started this tournament in good form. Expect another tough battle between two of the tour’s greatest competitors.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 3 win apiece heading into this match. Surprisingly it is Suarez Navarro who has won 2 of their last 3 matches. In 2018 the pair have met on 2 occasions, a 6-2 6-4 win for Svitolina in Brisbane and more recently a 7-5 6-3 win for Suarez Navarro in Indian wells.

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

Elina Svitolina vs. Caroline Garcia, Stuttgart QF Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart QF Preview
🇺🇦 (3) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇫🇷 (6) Caroline Garcia

Elina Svitolina and Caroline Garcia will renew hostilities when they meet at the quarter-final stage of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Friday. Garcia got the better of Svitolina on 2 occasions last year, on both occasions Svitolina was in a winning position, the Ukrainian will head into this match with a point to prove and revenge on her mind.

Caroline Garcia of France in action at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Svitolina and Garcia both survived scares in the second round against talented young opponents. Svitolina was totally outplayed by Marketa Vondrousova but her Czech opponent’s level soon deteriorated before she retired injured in the third set. Meanwhile, Garcia was pushed deep into a third set by Marta Kostyuk. Garcia’s experience ultimately played a big part at the pointy end of the match as the Frenchwoman claimed a 6-1 3-6 7-5 victory. Garcia did also produce a strong opening round performance where she beat Maria Sharapova in 3 sets whilst Svitolina received a bye through the opening round.

It is Garcia who heads into this match with a 2-1 H2H advantage. Svitolina easily beat Garcia in their first meeting in Cincinnati back in 2015 but it is Garcia who won their two recent matches at the end of last year. A 6-7 7-5 7-6 win in Beijing and a 6-7 6-3 7-5 win at the WTA Finals. Can Svitolina get revenge in Stuttgart?

To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here

Elina Svitolina vs. Marketa Vondrousova, Stuttgart R2 Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart R2 Preview
🇺🇦 (3) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇨🇿 (Q) Marketa Vondrousova

Elina Svitolina will begin her 2018 Stuttgart campaign with a second round clash against Czech Qualifier Marketa Vondrousova. Svitolina is competing in Stuttgart for the first time in her career, the third seed received a bye through the opening round. Svitolina easily defeated Vondrousova earlier this year in Dubai, can the teenager can this a more competitive encounter?

Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in action at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Elina Svitolina has been typically consistent in 2018 but her results are the biggest tournaments have not been terrific. Svitolina arrives in Stuttgart having not played an event for a couple of weeks, her last outing was a quarter-final appearance in Miami where she was beaten by Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets. Clay is arguably Svitolina’s best surface, the 2017 Rome champion will be hoping to add a few titles to her collection over the coming months, ideally a major.

Marketa Vondrousova is already having a great week in Stuttgart. Vondrousova made her way through a tough qualifying draw, the 19-year-old went the distance in all 3 of her wins, beating Karolina Muchova, Oceane Dodin and Carina Witthoeft to secure a spot in the main draw. Vondrousova’s most impressive performance of the event thus far came at the opening round stage of the main draw, a surprisingly comprehensive 6-2 6-2 victory over Julia Goerges. It was a clinical performance by Vondrousova who did not face a break point all match.

The only previous match between the pair ended in a 6-2 6-4 win for Svitolina in Doha earlier this year.

To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here