Caroline Garcia vs. Magdalena Rybarikova, Montreal R2 Preview

🇨🇦 Rogers Cup, Montreal R2 Preview
🇫🇷 (6) Caroline Garcia vs. 🇸🇰 Magdalena Rybarikova

The 6th seeded Caroline Garcia begins her Rogers Cup campaign on Tuesday with a second round clash against Magdalena Rybarikova. Garcia received a bye through the first round whilst Rybarikova came from a set and a break down to defeat Barbora Strycova. This should be an entertaining clash between two versatile players.

Caroline Garcia of France talks to the media at the 2018 Coupe Rogers WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Caroline Garcia will be back on court for the first time since a disappointing opening round loss at Wimbledon at the hands of Belinda Bencic. It has been over a month since that straight set loss at Wimbledon, so it is tough to know what to expect from Garcia in Montreal. What is for sure is Garcia will have the crowd on her side in Montreal, as is always the case with the French players.

Magdalena Rybarikova made an impressive start to her U.S hard court swing, fighting from the brink of defeat to defeat Barbora Strycova 3-6 7-6 6-2. Rybarikova looked destined for defeat throughout the second set, Strycova served for the match at 5-4 and had several leads in the tiebreak, however Rybarikova was much more composed and ultimately ran over the top of a Strycova.

Caroline Garcia holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Rybarikova. The most recent match between the pair took place in New Haven in 2015, Garcia claimed a 7-6 6-4 victory.

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Petra Kvitova vs. Magdalena Rybarikova, Birmingham Final Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham Final Preview
🇨🇿 (4) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇸🇰 Magdalena Rybarikova

Sunday’s final in Birmingham will be a battle between two former champions as the fourth seeded Petra Kvitova takes on Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova. Kvitova is the defending champion in Birmingham whilst Rybarikova won the title in Birmingham back in 2009. Kvitova enters this match as a strong favourite but Rybarikova has a brilliant recent record on grass and is not without a hope of causing an upset. Who will win a second Birmingham title?

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in action during the quarter-final at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova will be playing for a 5th title in 2018, an incredible effort at this stage of the season. Kvitova’s record in finals is simply outstanding, Kvitova has a 24/7 W/L record in finals and has won her last 6 finals dating back to 2016. The two-time Wimbledon champion has been in ominous form this week, cruising into the final without dropping a set. Kvitova recorded comfortable wins over Johanna Konta, Daria Gavrilova, Julia Goerges and Mihaela Buzarnescu on route to the final.

Magdalena Rybarikova will be aiming to win her 5th career title at the very venue that she won her first WTA title way back in 2009. Rybarikova has not won a WTA title since Washington in 2013 but is playing some of the best tennis of her career at the moment. The Slovakian’s most impressive win was in the opening round where she thrashed Karolina Pliskova before fighting from a set down to beat Kristina Mladenovic. Rybarikova secured her spot in her first final of 2018 with straight set wins over Dalila Jakupovic and Barbora Strycova.

The pair have only met on one previous occasion at the WTA tour level. A 6-4 6-2 win for Kvitova in the New Haven final in 2014.

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Barbora Strycova vs. Magdalena Rybarikova, Birmingham SF Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham SF Preview
🇨🇿 Barbora Strycova vs. 🇸🇰 Magdalena Rybarikova

Saturday’s first semi-final at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham features an interesting battle between Barbora Strycova and Magdalena Rybarikova, a match-up between two players that excel on grass. This is a vintage match-up between two versatile players that are very competent at the net and have deadly slice backhands, a grass court classic. The pair will both be aiming to reach a maiden final in 2018, who will rise to the occasion and book their spot in the final?

Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia in action during the quarter-finals at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Barbora Strycova will be seeking a spot in a third final in Birmingham on Saturday. The Czech received an early lifeline in the tournament when she came back from the brink of defeat against Jennifer Brady in the first round, twice fighting from a set and a break down to claim a gutsy 3-6 7-5 6-3 victory. Strycova claimed a big upset in the second round as she fairly comfortably eliminated the top seeded Garbine Muguruza 6-2 6-4 in what was one of her better performances of the season thus far. The 32-year-old led Lesia Tsurenko 7-5 3-0 in their quarter-final clash before the Ukrainian retired injured to hand Strycova a place in her first semi-final of 2018.

Magdalena Rybarikova’s recent record on grass is as good as most. The Slovakian famously reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year and is again showing her grass court prowess in Birmingham this week. Rybarikova started the week with a superb 6-2 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova before battling past Kristina Mladenovic 3-6 6-2 6-1. The 29-year-old secured her spot in her first semi-final of the 2018 with a fairly comfortable 6-2 6-4 win over Slovenian qualifier Dalila Jakupovic.

Strycova holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Rybarikova. Strycova has won all 3 of their previous matches at the tour level. The pair met on 2 occasions last year, both ended in straight set wins for Strycova, 7-6 7-6 in Tokyo and 6-1 6-4 in the Linz final in what was their recent match.

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Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Dalila Jakupovic, Birmingham QF Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham QF Preview
🇸🇰 Magdalena Rybarikova vs. 🇸🇮 (Q) Dalila Jakupovic

Magdalena Rybarikova and Dalila Jakupovic will open proceedings on quarter-final day at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham. This will be the first career meeting between Rybarikova and Jakupovic, an unexpected match-up at this stage of a premier level event. Who will rise to the occasion and book their spot in the semi-finals?

Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia in action at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Magdalena Rybarikova has confirmed her grass court prowess in Birmingham this week. The 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist started the week with a 6-2 6-3 upset win over the 3rd seeded Karolina Pliskova in what was a near-flawless performance from the Slovakian. Rybarikova was not quite as impressive in the second round but was good enough to defeat a fading Kristina Mladenovic 3-6 6-2 6-1.

Dalila Jakupovic has already won 5 matches in Birmingham having come through the qualifying draw, the Slovenian is the last qualifier left in the tournament. Jakupovic claimed 3 solid wins in a tough qualifying draw, beating Jasmine Paolini, Sachia Vickery and Bernarda Pera. Jakupovic started her main draw campaign with a dramatic 3-6 7-6 6-1 win over Elise Mertens, Jakupovic saved 5 match points in the second set before cruising to victory in the third over a dejected opponent. Jakupovic secured her spot in the quarter-finals thanks to Naomi Osaka retiring injured their second round match.

Rybarikova enters this match as a strong favourite but Jakupovic is playing some of the best tennis of her career and has nothing to lose at this stage of the tournament.

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Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Kristina Mladenovic, Birmingham R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham R2 Preview
🇸🇰 Magdalena Rybarikova vs. 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic

Magdalena Rybarikova and Kristina Mladenovic will renew hostilities when they meet at the second round stage in Birmingham on Wednesday. Rybarikova has won both of the previous meetings between the pair and has a brilliant recent record on grass, can Mladenovic raise her level to pull off an upset?

Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia in action at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Magdalena Rybarikova claimed the first big upset victory of the tournament as she defeated the 3rd seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-2 6-3 in their opening round encounter. It was a near-flawless performance from Rybarikova who bamboozled Pliskova with her touch and court craft. The Slovakian made it all the way to the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year, it is important that Rybarikova finds some kind of form over the next few weeks before heading to SW19 to defend a huge chunk of points.

Kristina Mladenovic secured her spot in the second round in Birmingham with a gutsy first round victory, a 1-6 6-2 6-4 victory over Katerina Siniakova. After a dreadful opening set it looked like Mladenovic was on track for yet another commanding loss but she recovered admirably to beat a fading Siniakova. Mladenovic’s efficiency at the net was a the standout feature of her performance.

Rybarikova has a 2-0 H2H record over Mladenovic. Both of their previous matches went deep into a third set, their only recent match was in Zhuhai last year, Rybarikova claimed a 7-5 1-6 7-6 victory.

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Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Belinda Bencic, Roland Garros R2 Preview

Roland Garros, R2 Preview
🇸🇰 (19) Magdalena Rybarikova vs. 🇨🇭 Belinda Bencic

The 19th seeded Magdalena Rybarikova will face a tough test when she takes on Belinda Bencic in the second round at the Roland Garros on Thursday. Interestingly, Rybarikova and Bencic will both be playing to reach the third round at Roland Garros for the very first time. This is a huge opportunity for both, who will step up and take it?

Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in action during her first-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Rybarikova cruised through her opening round match in Paris, claiming a comfortable 6-3 6-0 win over Luksika Kumkhum. Rybarikova has made a habit of performing well at the Grand Slam level, the Slovakian reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year followed by a third round appearance in New York and a fourth round showing at the Australian Open earlier this year.

In her first match since Indian Wells earlier this year Bencic managed to fight from a set down to claim a gutsy 3-6 7-6 7-5 victory over Italian qualifier Deborah Chiesa. Roland Garros is easily Bencic’s least successful Grand Slam event to date, the only Grand Slam where she has not reached the second week, perhaps that will change in 2018?

The head-to-head record between the pair is squared at 1 win apiece, both matches went to 3 sets. Bencic beat Rybarikova at Wimbledon in 2014 whilst more recently Rybarikova claimed an upset victory at Indian Wells in 2016. Who will sneak ahead with a win in Paris?

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Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Luksika Kumkhum, Roland Garros R1 Preview

Roland Garros, R1 Preview
🇸🇰 (19) Magdalena Rybarikova vs. 🇹🇭 Luksika Kumkhum

The 19th seeded Magdalena Rybarikova opens her 2018 Roland Garros campaign on Monday where she takes on Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum. This will be the first career meeting between Rybarikova and Kumkhum, two players that are not very comfortable on clay. It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out, a decent opportunity for both.

Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia during practice ahead of the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Rybarikova has played little tennis on clay in the leadup to the second Grand Slam of the year. Rybarikova played just 3 events on clay prior to Paris, in Stuttgart Rybarikova did have a good win over Kasatkina before succumbing to Halep in 3 sets. More recently Rybarikova suffered back-to-back opening round losses at the hands of Johanna Konta in Madrid and Rome.

Kumkhum has also played very little tennis on clay in 2018. Kumkhum avoided the majority of the European clay court swing, instead choosing to play ITF events in Asia. Most recently Kumkhum was in action in Strasbourg where she successfully moved through the qualifying draw but was beaten by Ash Barty in straight sets in the opening round.

Rybarikova and Kumkhum both have poor records in Paris. Roland Garros is easily Rybarikova’s least successful tournament given she has never made it past the second round. Whilst Kumkhum has never won a main draw match at Roland Garros and will be competing in the main draw for just the second time.

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Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Johanna Konta, Madrid R1 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open R1 Preview
🇸🇰 (16) Magdalena Rybarikova vs. 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta

One of the toughest opening round match-ups in Madrid sees the 16th seeded Magdalena Rybarikova come up against Johanna Konta. Rybarikova was the last player to be seeded whilst Konta was just a few spot off being seeded leading to rare battle between two top 25 players at the opening round of a tournament. It is Konta who has won both of the previous matches between the pair but Rybarikova will fancy her chances here given Konta’s lacklustre form of late.

Clay is the least preferred surface for both Rybarikova and Konta. Combined the two have won just 4 matches at the tour level on clay in the last couple of years

Rybarikova arrives in Madrid on the back of a second round showing in Stuttgart. Rybarikova claimed a big win over Kasatkina in the first round before suffering a very respectable 3 set loss to Simona Halep. Konta’s start to the clay season was far less impressive as she was beaten by Fanny Stollar in straight sets in the opening round in Charleston.

Konta holds a perfect 2-0 lead over Rybarikova. Both of the previous matches between the pair were on grass in Nottingham, a 6-3 6-3 win in 2015 and a 6-2 7-5 win last year.

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Simona Halep vs. Magdalena Rybarikova, Stuttgart R2 Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart R2 Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇸🇰 Magdalena Rybarikova

Simona Halep will begin her 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix campaign with a second round clash against Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova. The top seeded Halep received a bye through the opening round whilst Rybarikova caused the first big upset of the tournament by defeating Daria Kasatkina in straight sets. Interestingly this has historically been a tough match-up for Simona, Rybarikova has beaten the world number 1 on multiple occasions and will fancy her chances of an upset here.

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Simona Halep arrives in Stuttgart on a high after guiding Romania into the Fed Cup world Group at the weekend with victory over Switzerland. Halep won both of her singles matches as Romania secured a 3-0 victory. Halep defeated Golubic in 3 sets and claimed a 6-2 6-1 win over Patty Schnyder to end the tie. This is the time of the year where Halep is at her most dangerous, Halep is undoubtedly the number 1 player on clay on the WTA tour and will have her sights set on a number of big titles over the coming months, starting by potentially winning her first Stuttgart title.

Magdalena Rybarikova was extremely impressive in her opening round match in Stuttgart, The Slovakian claimed a comprehensive 6-2 6-2 victory over Daria Kasatkina, Rybarikova served extremely well throughout the match and successfully moved up the court frequently. Whilst clay is typically Rybarikova’s least preferred surface, the quicker indoor clay court conditions in Stuttgart actually play nicely for Rybarikova game.

Halep holds a 3-2 H2H record over Rybarikova, however on closer inspection it is Rybarikova who has the slight advantage having won 2 of their 3 completed matches. It was Halep who won their most recent completed match, a 6-3 6-4 win at the Rogers Cup last year.

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Magdalena Rybarikova vs Kateryna Bondarenko, Australian Open R3 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R3 Preview
🇸🇰 (19) Magdalena Rybarikova vs 🇺🇦 Kateryna Bondarenko

An awesome opportunity presents itself to Magdalena Rybarikova and Kateryna Bondarenko on Friday when the pair meet at the third round stage at Melbourne Park, both will be aiming to reach the fourth round for the first time in their careers. The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 2 wins apiece, the pair have not played for over 6 years so it will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out with so much on the line.

Embed from Getty Images

Rybarikova has been fairly impressive on route to the third round at Melbourne Park, surprisingly this is the first time the 29-year-old has reached the third round stage. Rybarikova started the week with a 6-0 7-5 win over Taylor Townsend before securing her spot in the third round by beating Kirsten Flipkens 6-4 0-6 6-2. One thing that has stood out for Rybarikova is that she has been serving very well in important moments. This was true at the end of the second set against Townsend and in the deciding set against Flipkens. When Rybarikova lands her first serve at a high percentage it really helps her game as she can take control of the point, the Slovakian is a much better player when she is on the front foot rather than when she is defending.

Kateryna Bondarenko is into the third round stage at Melbourne Park for the third time in her career. Bondarenko started the week by out-lasting Swiss qualifier Viktorija Golubic, winning 7-6 4-6 6-2 before upsetting the 15th seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 6-3. Bondarenko produced one of her most exceptional performances in recent years to easily get past Pavlyuchenkova, the Ukrainian reminding us all of what she is still capable of.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 2 wins apiece. However these matches are irrelevant as they were over 6 years ago.