Australian Open 🇦🇺 R1 Preview
(9) 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs 🇺🇸 Madison Brengle
Johanna Konta will begin her 2018 Australian Open campaign against Madison Brengle on Tuesday. Konta did not have an ideal preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year, an injury scare in Brisbane and an early exit in Sydney. Nevertheless, Konta seems confident heading into Melbourne and rightfully so given her previous results at the event: a semi-final showing in 2016 and a quarter-final appearance last year.
Johanna Konta ended 2017 in very poor form but did well to regain momentum in Brisbane. Konta started the season with 2 victories from a set down in Brisbane against Keys and Tomljanovic before being forced to retire with a hip injury against Svitolina. Konta was dealt a brutal draw in Sydney, coming up against Agnieszka Radwanska, a rematch of last years final. Unfortunately for the defending champion she was unable to execute her game, losing to the Pole in a nervy performance.
Madison Brengle’s form in the lead up to the first slam of the year has been unspectacular. Brengle was dealt a tough draw in Auckland, defeated by Wozniacki in straight sets in the opening round. The American then moved down to Auckland where she was unable to get through the qualifying draw, beaten by Kurumi Nara in straight sets.
The head-to-head record between Konta and Brengle is split at 1 win apiece. Brengle defeated Konta in straight sets in Linz in 2015 whilst more recently Konta won 6-4 6-0 in Indian Wells in 2016.
Wimbledon 🇬🇧💂🍓 Day 3, R2 Match Preview:
(11) 🇨🇿 Petra Kvitova vs 🇺🇸 Madison Brengle
Petra Kvitova will continue her quest for a third Wimbledon title when she comes up against Madison Brengle in the second round at SW19 on Wednesday. Kvitova is one of the form players on tour at the moment despite being in just her third tournament back from a horrific injury in the pre-season. Kvitova is fresh off winning her first title of the year in Birmingham and raced through her opening round match against Johanna Larsson. Kvitova will face a familiar foe in the form of Madison Brengle in the second round, an opponent that actually has a winning record over Kvitova.
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Roland Garros, 🇫🇷🐌 R1 Preview + Prediction
🇺🇸 Madison Brengle vs 🇩🇪 Julia Goerges
Julia Goerges looms as one of the most dangerous unseeded players in the draw at Roland Garros 2017. The German has shown promising signs here and there in recent times but inconsistency throughout tournaments and matches continues to plague Julia. On the other side of the spectrum is Madison Brengle, a player with little talent but a player that almost always gives the same level, a solid fighter who can expose players like Goerges if they are not on their game.
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Dubai QF: Sara Errani vs Madison Brengle
An unlikely quarter-final match-up at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships features Sara Errani and Madison Brengle. Errani and Brengle both made lacklustre starts to the season but both have put themselves in a great position to reach a premier level semi-final.
Sara Errani couldn’t have asked for a better pathway to the quarter-finals, the Italian has faced 2 qualifiers on route to the final 8. Errani started the week with a 7-5 6-3 victory over Saisai Zheng before recording a surprisingly comfortable 6-3 6-0 over a wayward Yaroslava Shvedova. Errani’s win over Shvedova was significant given how easily Yaroslava dealt with Errani in their previous meeting at Wimbledon where Shvedova famously won a ‘golden set’ against the Italian. With all seeded players eliminated from the draw, perhaps this is the opportunity Sara Errani needs to turn her disappointing form around?
Madison Brengle has caused 2 big upsets to advance to the quarter-final stage in Dubai for first time in her career. Brengle started the week with a hard-fought 6-4 7-5 win over Ekaterina Makarova before eliminating former champion Petra Kvitova from the draw in the second round courtesy of a 0-6 7-6 6-3 win. Brengle showed great fight in each match, the American was a break down in each set against Makarova but showed real determination to finish the match off in two sets. Brengle was totally outplayed by Kvitova in the first set of their second round match, Kvitova requited just 17 minutes to take the lead. However, Brengle wasn’t disheartened and eventually claimed a tight second set before fighting from a break down to win the last 5 games of the match.
Sara Errani won the only previous clash between the pair, a 6-2 2-6 6-3 victory at the Rogers Cup last year. This match-up sees two very defensive players go head-to-head, long rallies will be the theme of this match. I think this is a good match-up for Errani, the Italian will not be blown off the court and will actually get the chance to dictate play in this match-up. Errani has far more variety and class and should be too good to let an opportunity like this slip by.
Prediction: Sara Errani to defeat Madison Brengle in 2 sets
Day 3 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships was one of the most bizarre days in terms of results we have seen all year on the WTA tour. Almost every single match ended with the underdog emerging victorious. Heading into the quarter-finals there are no seeded players left in the draw, in fact no seeded player won a match this week. The draw is now wide open for any of the remaining 8 players to become an unlikely champion this week in Dubai. After days like this the dedication of the top players has to be questioned as players such as Garbine Muguruza produced a ridiculously poor level of tennis.
The day started with 2 strange matches. Both Barbora Strycova and Caroline Garcia came back from a set and a break down to record what seemed like an unlikely victory. Barbora Strycova trailed Julia Goerges by a set and 0-3 before winning 12 of the next 13 games to book her spot in the quarter-finals. Goerges was seemingly cursing to victory playing unbelievably well before suddenly collapsing as Strycova raised her level of play. Strycova was actually in tears after the first set and seemed like she little or no fight left in her which made her stunning end to the match all the more surprising.
Caroline Garcia pulled a similar trick, coming from a set and 4-2 down to advance to the final 8 with a 4-6 6-4 6-3 victory. Suarez Navarro had multiple game points to take a 5-3 lead in the second set but was typically shaky when the pressure was on and committed far too many unforced errors. A rain delay halted proceedings with Garcia serving for the match at 5-3 in the deciding set, Garcia did well to close out the match when play resumed after an awkward wait. It was a good win for Garcia who was not at her best for most of the match but never stopped fighting and was ultimately rewarded for her efforts.
When play resumed after a lengthy rain delay the upsets continued. Andrea Petkovic recorded a surprisingly comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory over Jelena Jankovic whilst Sara Errani thumped a hopelessly disappointing Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3 6-0. The Kazakh was a shadow of her best, and a shadow of the player that smashed Errani at Wimbledon in their previous meetings. Shvedova hit far too many reckless unforced errors and pretty much handed Errani a place in the next. Credit to Errani, she was there to take advantage of her opponent’s poor performance.
Sara Errani will face Madison Brengle in the quarter-finals after the American produced yet another upset win by defeating Petra Kvitova 0-6 7-6 6-3. It was a gutsy victory by Brengle considering she was totally outplayed in the opening set. The American also trailed by a break in the deciding set before rallying to win the final 5 games of the match. It was a horrific loss for Kvitova as her season goes from bad to worse. Garbine Muguruza’s season has also gone from bad to worse, the Spaniard hit a whopping 68 unforced errors in straight set loss to Elina Svitolina. Muguruza didn't seem to interested in the match and couldn't have played much worse. Svitolina finished the match with 8 winners and 28 unforced errors but that was good enough to get he win on the night.
Day 3 also saw the defending champion dumped from the event in her opening match of the week. The top seeded Simona Halep was ousted by Ana Ivanovic who recorded a 7-6 6-2 victory over the Romanian. Halep has ahead for almost the entire first set and served for the set at 5-4 where she squandered a set point before eventually being totally outplayed in the tiebreak. Simona offered very little resistance in the second set as Ivanovic ran away with the match and continued her resurgence after a poor start to the year. CoCo Vandeweghe was also victorious on day 3, winning a topsy-turvy three match against Kristina Mladenovic.
With no seeded player left in the day heading into the quarter-finals every player left in the draw should feel as though they have a legitimate chance to win the title. It will be interesting to see who is able to make the most of this rare opportunity.
Dubai R2: (4) Petra Kvitova vs Madison Brengle
After receiving a bye through the first round, Petra Kvitova will begin her Dubai campaign with a second round clash against Madison Brengle. Kvitova has made another extremely disappointing start to a season but will look to rebound at a tournament where she was crowned champion in 2013. Madison Brengle will enter this match with confidence after one of the biggest wins of her career in the first round.
Petra Kvitova arrives in Dubai with just 1 win to her name in 2016. Kvitova’s start to the season has been hampered by injury once again, Kvitova was unable to compete in Shenzhen and was far from her best in Melbourne where she suffered a second round loss to Daria Gavrilova. Petra tried to turn her form around in the Czech Republic’s Fed Cup tie with Romanian, but uncharacteristically suffered 2 losses, defeated by Simona Halep and Monica Niculescu. Kvitova has played great tennis in Dubai in the past and with a good amount of time practising on site she should be ready to compete at a much higher level this week compared to what she has been able to produce so far in 2016.
Madison Brengle advanced to the second round in Dubai courtesy of a surprise 6-4 7-5 victory over Ekaterina Makarova. It was a big victory for the American who has typically struggled against higher ranked opponents. Brengle came from behind in each set and showcased some great defensive skills which ultimately drew enough errors from the Makarova racquet. Brengle will head into her second round match reasonably confident knowing that she has what it takes to beat Kvitova.
Madison Brengle won her only previous encounter with Petra Kvitova. Brengle recorded a shock 6-3 7-6 victory on clay in Stuttgart last year. I suspect this will be a very different match with a very different result. Kvitova is highly likely to produce much better tennis this week in Dubai and should be strong enough to hit past Brengle. This should be a good match-up for Kvitova because she will be given a lot of time by Brengle and will be able to dictate play. I don’t see Kvitova losing to Brengle twice in a row, Kvitova should win this one.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Madison Brengle in 2 sets
Day 1 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships was dominated by upsets (as is so often the case with a WTA event). A pair of American’s recorded impressive, surprise victories: CoCo Vandeweghe defeated 2015 runner-up Karolina Pliskova whilst Madison Brengle defeated 2015 semi-finalist Ekaterina Makarova. Julia Goerges recorded a dominant victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova whilst Andrea Petkovic recorded a much needed win over Camila Giorgi.
The day started with a huge upset, Madison Brengle recorded one of the biggest victories of her career, defeating an erratic Ekaterina Makarova 6-4 7-5. Brengle showed great resilience throughout the match, coming from behind in each set courtesy of dogged defense. Brengle’s reward is a second round clash with 2013 champion Petra Kvitova. Fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe also recorded a significant win, defeating Karolina Pliskova 7-6 6-1. It was the American’s first singles victory of 2016. Vandeweghe won a tight opening set which featured no breaks of serve before running away with the match in the second set.
A pair of German’s made brilliant starts to their Dubai campaign on Monday. Andrea Petkovic thrashed Camila Giorgi 6-2 6-1 whilst Julia Goerges produced a superb performance to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-0 6-1. Goerges blasted 28 winners past the Russian, it was the worst loss inflicted on the Russian in her 13-year career. The challenge for both Petkovic and Goerges will be to bring their great form into the next round, both have struggled to be consistent in recent times.
On a day of upsets there was some stability, Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia both got off to a positive start in Dubai. Mladenovic overcame Lesia Tsurenko with a 6-2 7-6 win whilst Caroline Garcia defeated Anna Schmiedlova 6-4 6-1. Kristina Mladenovic will face CoCo Vandeweghe in the second round, Caroline Garcia will face Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the quarter-finals.
The qualifying draw was also finalised on Monday with Tsvetana Pironkova, Yaroslava Shvedova, Jana Cepelova and Saisai Zheng all winning their way into the main draw. A strong group of qualifiers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see one or more of them progress through the first round in Dubai.
Beijing R1: (11) Belinda Bencic vs Madison Brengle
Belinda Bencic will open her China Open campaign on Monday when she comes up against American Madison Brengle in the 1st round in Beijing. Belinda Bencic has solidified her position amongst the top 20, Bencic is also on the verge of reaching her first WTA Finals campaign. Bencic is currently ranked 13th in the live race to Singapore, the Swiss rising star will need a solid set of results in Beijing if she is to keep her chances of reaching a maiden WTA Finals campaign alive. Bencic will be looking to make a commanding start with a strong victory over Brengle on Monday.
Belinda Bencic made a very positive start to her Asian campaign, reaching the final of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo a couple of weeks ago. Bencic picked up impressive victories over Samantha Stosur, Garbine Mugruza and Caroline Wozniacki before succumbing to Agnieszka Radwanska in the final. After a short turnaround, Bencic was unable to continue her winning ways in Wuhan last week, recording a straight set victory over Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round before being forced to retire injured after dropping the first set to Camila Giorgi in the second round. Bencic should be rested and ready to compete in Beijing, one last big result will see her secure her spot in Singapore.
Madison Brengle’s solid but unspectacular form has continued during the Asian swing. Madison Brengle reached the quarter-final stage at the Toyo international event before succumbing in the second round in Tokyo and Beijing. Brengle picked up an impressive 6-3 6-4 victory over Dominika Cibulkova last week in Wuhan before being thumped by Ana Ivanovic in the second round. Brengle has had a solid season but often struggles against accomplished players.
Belinda Bencic defeated Madison Brengle in straight sets in their only previous encounter, a 6-4 6-2 victory at a lower level event in 2013. This looks like a really good match-up for Bencic, the Swiss rising star’s solid, consistent flat groundstrokes should eventually break down the defence of Madison Brengle. The American relies on drawing errors from her opponents, she unlikely to have much success doing that against Bencic. Brengle can be seen as an inferior version of Wozniacki, Bencic has owned Wozniacki lately and I suspect Bencic will win this match comfortably. Brengle will struggle to find ways to hurt Bencic.
Prediction: Belinda Bencic to defeat Madison Brengle in 2 sets
Tokyo R2: Madison Brengle vs (5) Angelique Kerber
Angelique Kerber will be looking to pick up her fifth premier level title of the year in Tokyo, the German seems well placed for another deep run at a premier event. After a convincing straight set first round victory over Daria Gavrilova the German comes up against American Madison Brengle for a spot in the quarter-finals. This should be a straight-forward affair for Angie.
Madison Brengle is already well into her Asian campaign, the American reached the quarter-finals at the Tokyo International event last week where she would eventually succumbed to Ajla Tomljanovic in 3 sets. The American advanced to the second round at the premier level Tokyo event with a convincing 6-2 6-2 victory over a wayward Zarina Diyas. Brengle is very good at remaining composed and making the most of situations where she comes up against an off opponent. However Brengle will find life much more difficult when she comes up against Angelique Kerber, the German will give her nothing.
Kerber made a very positive start to the Asian swing, picking up her fourth victory over Daria Gavrilova in 2015, a commanding 6-2 6-2 victory over the Australian. Angie was extremely focused and determined from start to finish, giving very little away and ultimately proving too powerful for Dasha.
Kerber’s record at the premier level has been outstanding in 2015, Angie will need another couple of deep runs and perhaps another title if she is to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore. Angie will enter her match with Madison Brengle full of confidence.
The German thumped Brengle 6-3 6-1 in their only previous encounter which took place in semi-finals at Stuttgart earlier this year. This is a good match-up for Angie, Brengle doesn’t have any real weapons to challenge her and she will be able to dictate play from the baseline, I expect Angie to win this one quite comfortably.
Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Madison Brengle in 2 sets