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.

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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?

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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.

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Elina Svitolina vs Carla Suarez Navarro, Indian Wells R3 Preview

BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells R3 Preview
🇺🇦 (4) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇪🇸 (27) Carla Suarez Navarro

Elina Svitolina continues her BNP Paribas Open on Monday with a third round clash against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. Svitolina is one of the hottest players on tour right now. Svitolina won more titles than any other player in 2017 and is already at the top of the standings in 2018 with 2 titles to her name. Suarez Navarro has proven to be a tough match-up for Svitolina, can the Spaniard cause a big upset?

Svitolina has amassed an impressive 15-2 win-loss record in 2018. The Ukrainian kick-started her 2018 BNP Paribas Open campaign with a fairly comfortable 6-4 6-3 victory over Germany’s Mona Barthel. Svitolina arrived in Indian Wells full of confidence after winning the Tie Break Tens competition in New York City and prior to that defending her title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Svitolina looms as one of the toughest players to beat over the next fortnight at the BNP Paribas Open.

Carla Suarez Navarro confirmed her spot in the third round In Indian Wells with a hard-fought 6-4 2-6 6-3 win over Su-Wei Hsieh. Carla was certainly not at her best but was solid enough to get the job done in the final set. Suarez Navarro has had a decent season thus far, her run to the quarter-finals in Melbourne being the highlight. More recently Carla suffered back-to-back second round losses in Doha and Dubai, tough draws against Johanna Konta and Karolina Pliskova contributed to her undoing.

Svitolina holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Suarez Navarro. The most recent match between the pair took place earlier this year in Brisbane where Svitolina won 6-2 6-4 on route to the title. Prior to that match, the last 3 matches between the two went the distance, including a 3 set win for Suarez Navarro in Birmingham in 2016.

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Elina Svitolina vs Mona Barthel, Indian Wells R2 Preview

BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells R2 Preview
🇺🇦 (4) Elina Svitolina vs 🇩🇪 Mona Barthel

Elina Svitolina looms as one of the favourites to win this year’s BNP Paribas Open title. Svitolina is the form player on the tour right now having already won 2 titles this year. Svitolina will begin her Indian Wells campaign on Saturday with a second round clash against Germany’s Mona Barthel after the fourth seed received a bye through the opening round.

Svitolina has amassed a 14/2 win/loss record in 2018. The Ukrainian is full confidence right now and seemingly playing the best tennis of her career at the moment. Svitolina arrives in Indian Wells fresh off winning the Tie Break Tens competition in New York, Svitolina was dominant at that event, easily beating her 3 opponents. Svitolina’s most recent tour level event was in Dubai where she won her second title of the year.

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Svitolina does not have a great record in Indian Wells, her best result at the event is a couple of third round appearances in 2017 and 2015. In general, Svitolina has underachieved at the biggest events and is yet to win a premier mandatory title despite all of her recent success. Svitolina would be very keen to win either Indian Wells or Miami over the next month.

Mona Barthel booked her spot in the second round at the BNP Paribas Open courtesy of a commanding 6-2 6-1 win over Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg. Barthel is coming off a good week in Budapest where she upset the defending champion Timea Babos on route to the semi-final stage.

Svitolina heads into this match with a 3-1 H2H record over Barthel. The most recent match between the pair took place last year in Rome, Svitolina won that match 3-6 6-0 6-0.

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Elina Svitolina vs Daria Kasatkina, Dubai Final Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, 🏆 Final Preview
🇺🇦 (1) Elina Svitolina vs 🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina

Elina Svitolina is just 1 step away from successfully defending her title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and claiming her second title of the season. Standing in Svitolina’s way is an in-form Daria Kasatkina, the Russian heads into Saturday’s final in Dubai fresh off an epic, confidence boosting 3 set victory over Garbine Muguruza. Svitolina has an outstanding record in finals having won her last 6 finals, the Ukrainian holds an overall 10/2 record in championship matches. Can Svitolina build of her impressive record in finals on Saturday in Dubai?

Daria Kasatkina of Russia in action during the semi-final of the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier tennis tournament

Svitolina has been typically consistent in 2018, the world number 6 has amassed a 13/2 win/loss record. Svitolina won more titles than any other player in 2017 and is now one step away from winning a second title in 2018 having started the year winning the Brisbane International title. It has been a decent week for Svitolina, the top seed has improved her level progressively as her opponents became tougher. The 23-year-old started the week with a scrappy 3 set win over Qiang Wang before navigating her way past the threat of Naomi Osaka in straight sets. Svitolina confirmed her spot in Saturday’s final with a surprisingly comfortable 6-3 6-3 win over Angelique Kerber.

Daria Kasatkina is having an epic week in Dubai. The Russian has saved multiple match points on two occasions on route to the final, claiming epic wins over Johanna Konta and Garbine Muguruza. On both occasions where Kasatkina saved match points she also came from a set and a break down, her opponent served for the match on each occasion before Kasatkina won a second set tiebreak and run away with the match in the third set. Kasatkina has also claimed straight set wins over Agnieszka Radwanska and Elena Vesnina this week.

Svitolina has won both of the previous matches between the pair, neither have been easy victories. A 6-4 5-7 6-0 win in New Haven in 2016 and more recently a 7-6 6-4 win at the Rogers Cup last year. Svitolina and Kasatkina are two of the quickest players on tour, two of the best defenders, expect to see a tight final in Dubai, featuring a lot of long rallies.

Elina Svitolina vs Angelique Kerber, Dubai SF Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, SF Preview
🇺🇦 (1) Elina Svitolina vs 🇩🇪 (6) Angelique Kerber

A blockbuster semi-final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships sees the top seed and defending champion: Elina Svitolina, take on the in-form player on the tour right now: Angelique Kerber. This will be the second time in as many years these two have gone head-to-head at the semi-final stage in Dubai. This has been a very successful match-up for Svitolina in recent times, the Ukrainian has won the last 4 matches between the pair, 3 of those victories were in straight sets. Nevertheless, it is Kerber who has been more impressive in 2018, can the resurgent German avenge her recent defeats at the hands of Svitolina?

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in action at the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier tennis tournament

Whilst Svitolina has not necessarily been at her best in 2018, she still has a very positive 12/2 win/loss record thus far. Svitolina started her title defense in Dubai with a scrappy 3 set victory over Qiang Wang after receiving a bye through the opening round. The top seed confirmed her spot in the semi-finals by navigating her way past the dangerous Naomi Osaka 6-2 6-4. Svitolina’s consistency was too much for a wayward Osaka to handle, Svitolina will face a much tougher test in the next round as she takes on a red-hot Angelique Kerber, the German will not give Svitolina gifts like Osaka did in the previous round.

Angelique Kerber has won more matches than any other player in 2018, amassing a very impressive 19/2 win/loss record. Kerber has breezed through to the semi-finals in Dubai without dropping a set, claiming victories over Barbora Strycova, Sara Errani and Karolina Pliskova. Kerber confirmed her spot in the semi-finals with a 6-4 6-3 demolition of Karolina Pliskova. It was a near-flawless performance by Kerber who did not face 1 break point all match.

It is Svitolina who heads into this match with a 6-5 head-to-head record over the German. Svitolina has won the last 4 matches between the two and 6 of the last 9. The pair met on 3 occasions last year, Svitolina beat Kerber in 3 sets in Brisbane, straight sets in Dubai and 6-4 6-2 on clay in a Fed Cup tie in what was their most recent encounter.

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Elina Svitolina vs Naomi Osaka, Dubai QF Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, QF Preview
🇺🇦 (1) Elina Svitolina vs 🇯🇵 (wc) Naomi Osaka

Defending champion Elina Svitolina will come up against Japan’s Naomi Osaka in the opening quarter-final of the day at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday. Svitolina is likely to have her work cut out here, Osaka has won the last two matches between the pair and has rolled through her first couple of matches in Dubai in straight sets. Svitolina has not been at her best in 2018 and is seemingly vulnerable heading into this match, can Osaka record a third consecutive win over the top seed?

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in action at the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier tennis tournament

Svitolina started her Dubai title defense with a fairly unimpressive 3 set win over Qiang Wang. Svitolina won a topsy-turvy match 6-1 5-7 6-2. Svitolina would have been very disappointed that she was not able to close out her match with Wang in straight sets, she was broken from 40-0 up to succumb the second set. Nevertheless, the top seed rebounded well enough in the deciding set to confirm a quarter-final showdown with Naomi Osaka. This match-up looms as good opportunity for Svitolina to showcase her more aggressive game.

Naomi Osaka is looking good in Dubai, the 20-year-old has blasted her way past Kristina Mladenovic and Anett Kontaveit to reach her first quarter-final since Hong Kong last year. Osaka comfortably moved past the 8th seeded Mladenovic in the opening round, winning 6-2 6-2 before surviving a late scare to beat Kontaveit 6-2 7-6. Osaka threw away a 4-1 40-0 lead in the second set and gave Kontaveit a chance to serve out the set at 5-6. Osaka managed to steady and ended the second set tiebreak with a flurry to ensure she would eventually close the match out in straight sets. Osaka’s partnership with Sascha Bajin seems like it will pay dividends.

Osaka holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Svitolina. Osaka has won the last couple of matches between the pair, both in 2016. A 6-4 6-4 win at the Australian Open and a 1-6 6-3 6-2 win in Tokyo.

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Elina Svitolina vs Elise Mertens, Australian Open QF Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 Quarter-Final Preview
🇺🇦 (4) Elina Svitolina vs 🇧🇪 Elise Mertens

Elina Svitolina and Elise Mertens will both be aiming to reach a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time when the pair collide at quarter-final stage of the Australian Open on Tuesday. Svitolina and Mertens have had similarly impressive starts to the season. Svitolina arrived in Melbourne fresh off winning the Brisbane International title whilst Mertens entered the first Grand Slam of the year on the back of winning the Hobart International title. Who will keep their winning streak going and move one step closer to winning a maiden Grand Slam title?

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Elina Svitolina has been criticised for not having the Grand Slam results to match her lofty ranking. The Ukrainian has a major opportunity to change this in Melbourne. Svitolina has reached her third Grand Slam quarter-final, her first away from Roland Garros. The Ukrainian started the week with a comfortable win over Ivana Jorovic before coming from a set down to defeat Katerina Siniakova. The 4th seed has cruised into the final 8 with comfortable straight set wins over Marta Kostyuk and Denisa Allertova. There is a big opportunity for Svitolina to reach the final from here, Svitolina is a strong favourite against Mertens and will fancy her chances against either Caroline Wozniacki or Carla Suarez Navarro in the semi-finals.

Elise Mertens will be no pushover. Mertens is competing in the main draw of the Australian Open for the first time. It was been an outstanding couple of weeks for Mertens. This time last year Mertens was unable to compete in the qualifying draw because she was still in the Hobart draw. 12 months later, Mertens successfully defended her Hobart title and is now into her first Grand Slam quarter-final. Mertens has reached the final 8 in Melbourne without dropping a set. The 22-year-old has claimed straight set wins over Viktoria Kuzmova, Daria Gavrilova, Alize Cornet and Petra Martic.

It was Svitolina who won the only previous meeting between the pair. A 6-2 6-4 victory in the Istanbul final last year on clay.

Elina Svitolina vs Denisa Allertova, Australian Open R4 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R4 Preview
🇺🇦 (4) Elina Svitolina vs 🇨🇿 (Q) Denisa Allertova

Elina Svitolina enters the round of 16 stage of the Australian Open as the favourite to win the tournament. Svitolina will be back in action on Sunday against Czech qualifier Denisa Allertova. Svitolina is into the 4th round stage of the Australian Open for the first time, the 4th seed won more tournaments than any other player in 2017 however her record at the Grand Slam level was not impressive. The Ukrainian is certainly focusing more on the majors in 2018, this year’s Australian Open seems like a golden opportunity for Svitolina to make her mark on the biggest stage.

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Svitolina cruised into the round of 16 at Melbourne Park, beating Marta Kostyuk 6-2 6-2. Svitolina was too solid and too experienced for Kostyuk in what was a fairly uncompetitive match. In the opening round, Svitolina cruised past Ivana Jorovic 6-3 6-2 before overcoming a slow start to beat Katerina Siniakova 4-6 6-2 6-1. Svitolina is currently on an 8 match winning streak having arrived at Melbourne Park on the back of winning the title at the Brisbane International.

Denisa Allertova is into the round of 16 stage at a Grand Slam for the very first time. Allertova is having a superb week, the 24-year-old rocketed through the qualifying draw without dropping a set and has brought that form into the main draw. Allertova has made the most of a favourable draw, defeating Pauline Parmentier, Shuai Zhang and Magda Linette to reach the fourth round stage in Melbourne.

Interestingly, It was Allertova who won the only previous match between the pair, a surprise 7-5 6-4 victory in Doha in 2016.