Samantha Stosur vs Kristina Kucova, Roland Garros R1 Preview

Roland Garros, 🇫🇷🐌 R1 Preview + Prediction
(23) 🇦🇺 Samantha Stosur vs 🇸🇰 Kristina Kucova

Samantha Stosur is another big contender heading into Roland Garros 2017. The former runner-up has always excelled in Paris, reaching at least the semi-final stage on four previous occasions. Stosur arrives in Paris on the back of a much-needed confidence boost in Strasbourg where she defeated Daria Gavrilova in three sets to win the title. Stosur has the ability to compete with anyone of this surface and should get her campaign off to a good start when she meets Kristina Kucova in the first round on Monday in Paris.

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Coupe Rogers, Semi-Final Day Match Previews

SF #1: (5) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep vs (2) 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber

A blockbuster semi-final clash in Montreal sees Simona Halep come up against Angelique Kerber.

Halep is having a great week in Montreal, not only is she into the semi-finals in singles but she is also in the semi-finals in the doubles draw alongside Monica Niculescu. Halep has come through a tough draw to reach the final four, claiming straight set wins over Daria Gavrilova and Karolina Pliskova before coming from a set down to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova.


Angelique Kerber struggled in her opening couple of matches in Montreal but managed to fight past Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Elina Svitolina in three sets. The German secured her spot in Saturday’s semi-finals with a convincing straight set win over Daria Kasatkina.

Simona Halep holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Kerber, however it was the German who won their most recent match: a 7-5 7-6 win at Wimbledon earlier this year.

Simona Halep has a perfect 3-0 record over Kerber on a hard court and I suspect she will maintain that perfect record. The surface suits Halep in this match-up and the Romanian has been playing at a higher level in Montreal and seems better positioned to win this match.

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Angelique Kerber in 3 sets


SF #2: (10) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs (Q) 🇸🇰 Kristina Kucova

Kristina Kucova continues to defy the odds in Montreal, the Slovakian is now into the biggest semi-final of her career after claiming a straight set win over Johanna Konta on Friday evening. Kucova came through the qualifying draw and has also claimed main draw upset wins over Carla Suarez Navarro and Eugenie Bouchard. Her run should come to an end on Saturday against Madison Keys.


Keys has been typically inconsistent throughout her last couple of matches in Montreal this week. Keys needed three sets to beat Venus Williams and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, suffering a second set meltdown in each match. Nevertheless, Keys was too good in the deciding set on each occasion which is all that matters.

This will be the first career meeting between Keys and Kucova. I suspect Keys will be too good. The American has all the weapons to dominate Kucova, the Slovakian doesn’t have many real weapons and will be very reliant on unforced errors from Keys to stand a chance.

Prediction: Madison Keys to defeat Kristina Kucova in 2 sets

Coupe Rogers, Quarter-final Day Match Previews

QF #1: (5) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep vs (9) 🇷🇺 Svetlana Kuznetsova

Friday’s first quarter-final in Montreal promises to be a close match between Halep and Kuznetsova. Halep has arguably been one of the most impressive players in the first couple of rounds at the Rogers Cup but is likely to face her greatest test of the tournament thus far when she comes up against Svetlana Kuznetsova. Halep and Kuznetsova have both advanced to the quarter-final stage without dropping a set: Halep defeated Daria Gavrilova and Karolina Pliskova in straight sets whilst Kuznetsova defeated Alla Kudryavtseva and Petra Kvitova. 

The head-to-head record between Halep and Kuznetsova is split at 3 wins apiece. The Russian won their most recent clash, a 7-6 4-6 6-3 win at the Sydney International earlier this year (Halep was struggling with an injury during that tournament). The Romanian seems to be playing some of her best tennis of the year and should be good enough to get past Kuznetsova on a surface that suits her game.

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova in 3 sets
QF #2: (2) 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber vs 🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina

Angelique Kerber and Daria Kasatkina will go head-to-head for the first time in what should be an entertaining match-up. Kerber hasn’t been at her best in the early rounds of this year’s Rogers Cup but has been strong enough to advance to the quarter-final stage where she should improve her level. Kerber has claimed three set wins over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Elina Svitolina. Kerber was close to a third round exit given Svitolina twice served for the match in the second set but the German was too good when it mattered most.


Daria Kasatkina’s form over her last couple of matches has been far more impressive. The Russian started the week with a comeback victory over Misaki Doi before recording straight set wins over Samantha Stosur and Roberta Vinci. Kasatkina’s 7-5 6-3 win over Vinci was particularly impressive.

I suspect Kerber will be too strong for Kasatkina in this match-up. These two have a similar approach, but clearly Angie has more experience and confidence on the biggest stages. If Kerber is fit and healthy, she should win this match because of her superior strength.

Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Daria Kasatkina in 2 sets
QF #3: (10) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs (16) 🇷🇺 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Another first time match-up sees Madison Keys come up against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Keys and Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the quarter-final stage in a very similar fashion. Pavlyuchenkova defeated Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets whilst Madison Keys defeated Venus Williams in three sets, both seemed like they should have closed the match out in straight sets but both recovered well to eventually win in three.

It’s tough to know how this match will unfold, I suspect Pavlyuchenkova is capable of causing an upset. Keys was extremely erratic throughout her win over Venus, Pavlyuchenkova is the type of opponent that is good at absorbing pace and can force the American into errors.

Prediction: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to defeat Madison Keys in 3 sets


QF #4: (15) 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs (Q) 🇸🇰 Kristina Kucova

Friday’s final quarter-final features an unlikely match-up between Johanna Konta and Kristina Kucova. Konta is in great form at the moment after claiming her maiden WTA title in Stanford last week, Konta is now on a 7 match winning streak. Konta has made the most of a favourable draw in Montreal by beating Shelby Rogers, Vania King and Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets on route to the quarter-final stage.

Kristina Kucova is having the week of her life, the Slovakian is into her first quarter-final at this level and has come all the way from the qualifying draw. Kucova has recorded upset victories over Yanina Wickmayer, Carla Suarez Navarro and Eugenie Bouchard. Kucova’s run should come to an end on Friday night, Konta should be too consistent and too powerful for Kucova.

Prediction: Johanna Konta to defeat Kristina Kucova in 2 sets