Angelique Kerber vs. Su-Wei Hsieh, Dubai R3 Preview

🇦🇪🐪 Dubai DFTC – R3 Preview
🇩🇪 (5) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇹🇼 Su-Wei Hsieh

Angelique Kerber and Su-Wei Hsieh will renew hostilities when they collide at the third round stage of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday. Kerber has made a decent start to the season and is seemingly on the cusp of breaking through to the next level, perhaps this week in Dubai?

IAngelique Kerber of Germany celebrates winning her second-round match at the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Kerber arrived in Dubai on the back of a decent week in Doha where she won a couple of good matches on route to the semi-final stage where she succumbed to the eventual champion Elsie Mertens. Kerber started her Dubai campaign with a topsy-turvy straight set win over Dalila Jakupovic. Kerber overcame a 1-5 deficit in the opening set on route to a 7-6 6-3 victory.

Hsieh has cruised through her first couple of matches in Dubai over solid opponents. Hsieh started the week with a 6-4 6-2 upset win over the 10th seeded Anastasija Sevastova before thrashing Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-1 6-2. Hsieh will need to take her game to an even higher level on Wednesday in Dubai if she is to claim her first career win over Kerber.

Kerber has won both of the previous matches between the pair, but both of those wins were difficult, both wins were from a set down. The most recent match between the pair took place at the Australian Open last year where Kerber won 4-6 7-5 6-2 in a very high quality match.

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

Simona Halep vs. Lesia Tsurenko, Dubai R3 Preview

🇦🇪🐪 Dubai DFTC – R3 Preview
🇷🇴 (3) Simona Halep vs. 🇺🇦 Lesia Tsurenko

Simona Halep continues her Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships campaign on Wednesday with a third round meeting against the Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko. Halep and Tsurenko played just last week in Doha where Halep claimed a comfortable win in straight sets, will we see a similar result here?

Simona Halep of Romania in action during her second-round match at the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Halep is starting to find her feet in 2019, the former world number 1 and reigning Roland Garros champion arrived in Dubai on the back of a solid run to the final in Doha last week and made a good start to her Dubai campaign yesterday. Halep received an opening round bye in Dubai before battling past Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 6-4 in a high quality encounter.

Lesia Tsurenko has won contrasting matches on route to the third round in Dubai. Tsurenko easily defeated Yulia Putintseva in the opening round where the Kazakh retired early in the second set. Tsurenko battled through her second round match where she outlasted Lin Zhu 6-4 6-7 6-3 in just under 2 and a half hours.

Halep holds a perfect 6-0 record over Tsurenko and has been completely untroubled in this match-up of late. Halep defeated Tsurenko 6-4 6-1 in Cincinnati last year, whilst just last week Halep claimed a 6-2 6-3 win over the Ukrainian in Doha. Halep has never dropped a set to Tsurenko on a hard court.

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

Kristina Mladenovic vs. Carla Suarez Navarro, Dubai R3 Preview

🇦🇪🐪 Dubai DFTC – R3 Preview
🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic vs. 🇪🇸 Carla Suarez Navarro

Kristina Mladenovic will return to action in Dubai on Wednesday for a third round clash with Carla Suarez Navarro, less than 24 hours after the Frenchwoman stunned the top ranked Naomi Osaka. Mladenovic enters this match on a high but will quickly need to refocus if she is to get past a tough test against the Spaniard.

Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain in action during her second-round match at the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Mladenovic secured her spot in the third round in Dubai with one of the biggest wins of her career. Mladenovic fairly comfortably defeated an out of sorts Naomi Osaka 6-3 6-3 having previously beaten Fatma Al-Nabhani 6-1 6-1 in the opening round. Mladenovic really stepped up her game against Osaka, amazingly she did not hit a single double fault which must be some kind of record for the usually erratic Frenchwoman.

Suarez Navarro is quietly having a good week in Dubai. Carla has navigated her way past two tough opponents with relative ease, Suarez Navarro started her Dubai campaign with a 6-1 6-3 win over Barbora Strycova before beating Shuai Zhang 6-4 6-4 to secure back-to-back wins for the first time in 2019.

Suarez Navarro holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Mladenovic and has won all 3 of their previous meetings on a hard court, including a 6-1 4-6 6-4 win in their most recent match at the US Open last year.

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

Simona Halep vs. Eugenie Bouchard, Dubai R2 Preview

Dubai DFTC – R2 Preview
🇷🇴 (3) Simona Halep vs. 🇨🇦 (wc) Eugenie Bouchard

Simona Halep begins her Dubai campaign on Tuesday with a second round match against Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard. Halep has dominated this match-up in recent times and is a strong favourite to continue that dominance here.

Simona Halep of Romania in action during her semi-final at the 2019 Qatar Total Open WTA Premier tennis tournament

Halep is a former champion in Dubai having won the title in 2015, the second seed brings good form into this event after reaching the final last week in Doha where she claimed some notable victories. Halep has generally made a good start to the season and seems to be getting stronger and stronger as the season progresses.

Bouchard is slowly moving back up the WTA standings. Bouchard has made a decent stat to the year by her recent standards and did produce one of better performances of late to book her spot in the second round in Dubai as she comfortably defeated Vera Lapko 6-3 6-4 in little over an hour.

Simona Halep holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Bouchard. Halep has cruised through their most recent matches, including a 6-2 6-2 win at the Australian Open last year in their latest match.

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

Garbine Muguruza vs. Saisai Zheng, Dubai R2 Preview

🐪 Dubai DFTC – R2 Preview
🇪🇸 (12) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇨🇳 Saisai Zheng

The 12th seeded Garbine Muguruza continues her Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships campaign on Tuesday with a second round clash against China’s Saisai Zheng. Muguruza claimed an important opening round win on Sunday against Dayana Yastremska, an opponent she has struggled against in the past and will look to keep that momentum going with a solid showing against Zheng.

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action during the first round of the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Muguruza fought from a set down to defeat Dayana Yastremska 4-6 6-3 6-3 to reach the second round in Dubai. A good win for Muguruza considering she lost to Yastremska in their only 2 previous matches. Though it must be said the match was not played at a high quality with the pair combining for over 100 unforced errors.

Saisai Zheng secured her spot in the second round in Dubai with a dramatic 3 set win over Ajla Tomljanovic. Zheng found herself up 5-1 in the deciding set but stumbled to lose the next 4 games as Tomljanovic levelled for 5-5. Zheng did well to remain composed given the circumstances and eventually claimed a 6-2 4-6 7-5 win.

The only previous match between the pair took place earlier this year at the opening round stage of the Australian Open, Muguruza won that match 6-2 6-3.

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

Naomi Osaka vs. Kristina Mladenovic, Dubai R2 Preview

🐪 Dubai DFTC – R2 Preview
🇯🇵 (1) Naomi Osaka vs. 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic

Naomi Osaka will be in action for the first time since her historic Australian Open triumph when she comes up against France’s Kristina Mladenovic at the second round stage of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The top seeded Osaka received a bye through the first round and will be playing her first match since splitting with coach Sascha Bajin.

Naomi Osaka of Japan during the All Access Hour ahead of the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka is the undisputed world number 1 in the women’s game. Osaka has won the last two Grand Slam titles and now rightfully sits at the top of the rankings. All the more reason why her recent decision to split with coach Sascha Bajin was such shocking news, especially given how far she has come under his guidance. It will be very interesting to see how Osaka goes without Bajin, perhaps this is where she starts to stutter?

Kristina Mladenovic has made a typically ordinary start to the season but benefited from a favourable opening round draw in Dubai. Mladenovic came up against local wild card Fatma Al-Nabhani and easily won 6-1 6-1. Safe to say Mladenovic will face a far, far greater test against Osaka in the next round.

The only previous meeting between the pair took place in Dubai last year, Osaka won that match 6-2 6-2.

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

Naomi Osaka vs. Petra Kvitova, Australian Open Final Preview

Australian Open, Final Preview
🇯🇵 (4) Naomi Osaka vs. 🇨🇿 (7) Petra Kvitova

Saturday’s championship match at Melbourne Park promises to be an epic as Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova go head-to-head for the very first time. Not only will the winner walk away with another Grand Slam title, they will also move to number 1 in the world rankings for the first time. Osaka and Kvitova are both in outstanding form, both know what it takes to win a Grand Slam, this is a very tough match to pick a winner!

Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates winning her semi-final at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka continues to show maturity well beyond her years. The 21-year-old has made gigantic improvements in the last 12 months and is now just 1 win away from winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles. The reigning US Open champion has certainly not suffered a let-down like most others have in her position after winning their first Grand Slam title, the signs are that she will be at the top of women’s tennis for some time.

Osaka’s route to the final in Melbourne has been a tough one. Osaka has impressively navigated her way through several tough matches. The Japanese star was untroubled in her first few matches against Magda Linette and Tamara Zidansek where she won in straight sets. Osaka then battled past Su-Wei Hsieh and Anastasija Sevastova from a set down before beating Elina Svitolina in straight sets. Osaka secured her spot in Saturday’s final with a hard-fought 6-2 4-6 6-4 win over Karolina Pliskova. Osaka was seemingly cruising to a straight set win when she led Pliskova by a set and a break but valiantly fended off a Pliskova comeback, saving early break points in third on route to a tough victory.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic reacts to making the final of the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova is in devastating form. Kvitova has bullied her way through the draw at Melbourne Park without dropping a set. Kvitova enters Saturday’s final on an 11-match winning streak having arrived in Melbourne fresh from winning the Sydney International title. Kvitova is also on an 8-match winning streak in finals and has an incredible 26-7 W/L record in finals.

Kvitova stormed through the first week with wins over Magdalena Rybarikova, Irina-Camelia Begu and Belinda Bencic. Kvitova upped her level in the next couple of matches in crushing victories over Amanda Anisimova and Ashleigh Barty. The 2-time former Wimbledon champion secured her spot in the final with a 7-6 6-0 victory over Danielle Collins. Kvitova played a messy opening set against Collins but raised her level in the second as she cruised to victory to reach her first Australian Open final.

Expect fireworks in this match-up, the first time the pair have gone head-to-head.
Who will prevail and capture the first Grand Slam title of 2019?

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

Naomi Osaka vs. Karolina Pliskova, Australian Open SF Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, Semi-Final Preview
🇯🇵 (4) Naomi Osaka vs. 🇨🇿 (7) Karolina Pliskova

Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova will renew hostilities when they go head-to-head in Thursday’s second semi-final at Melbourne Park. There is a lot on the line here. Osaka is two just 2 wins away from completing the rare New York / Melbourne double whilst Pliskova is two wins away from finally capturing that elusive maiden Grand Slam title. Both Osaka and Pliskova will become world number 1 if they go on to win the title in Melbourne. This is a big one between two powerful players.

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka has done extremely well to reach the semi-finals in her first Grand Slam since winning the US Open last year. Osaka continues to show maturity beyond her years. We have seen several players struggle with the pressure after breaking through and winning a Grand Slam title, that has certainly not been the case with Osaka who has admirably dealt this several tough situations on route to the final 4 in Melbourne.

Osaka cruised through her first couple of matches in Melbourne with straight set wins over Magda Linette and Tamara Zidansek. Osaka then navigated her way past Su-Wei Hsieh and Anastasija Sevastova, Osaka came from a set down in both of those matches, against Hsieh she was down a set and a break. Osaka sealed her spot in the final 4 with a fairly dominant 6-4 6-1 win over Elina Svitolina.

Karolina Pliskova is through to her third Grand Slam semi-final and will be aiming to reach her second Grand Slam final in her quest to finally win a Grand Slam title. Pliskova is widely regarded as the best player on tour not to win a Grand Slam title, the former world number 1 now has a great chance to change that.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic reacts to winning her quarter-final match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Pliskova booked her spot in the semi-finals with a dramatic victory over Serena Williams. Pliskova blew a set and a break lead to trail Williams 1-5 in the decider, from there Pliskova won 6 straight games and saved 4 match points on route to a famous 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory. It has been a fantastic start to the season for Pliskova who is currently on a 10-match winning streak having won the Brisbane International title prior to arriving in Melbourne.

Pliskova holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Osaka. The pair split their 2 meetings in 2018: Osaka won in 3 sets in Indian Wells whilst more recently Pliskova won 6-4 6-4 in the Tokyo final.

Who will prevail in the battle of the big hitters?

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

Petra Kvitova vs. Danielle Collins, Australian Open SF Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, Semi-Final Preview
🇨🇿 (8) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇺🇸 Danielle Collins

Petra Kvitova and Danielle Collins will go head-to-head with a place in the 2019 Australian Open final up for grabs. There is a big gulf in class and experience between the pair heading into this match, a two-time Grand Slam champion against a player who is in unprecedented territory. Kvitova is a strong favourite to come through this match but Danielle Collins has defied the odds all tournament.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova has been the form player on tour thus far in 2019. Kvitova is on a 10-match winning streak having arrived in Melbourne fresh from winning the title in Sydney. Kvitova has breezed through the draw at Melbourne Park to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final since winning Wimbledon in 2014.

Kvitova has not dropped a set this tournament. The 2-time former Wimbledon champion cruised through the first week of the tournament with commanding wins over Magdalena Rybarikova, Irina-Camelia Begu and Belinda Bencic. Kvitova’s two most recent performances have been particularly devastating. Kvitova thrashed Amanda Anisimova 6-2 6-1 before producing a sublime display of power hitting to ease past Ashleigh Barty 6-1 6-4. Kvitova has dropped a total of 22 points so far this tournament, meaning she has dropped an average of 2.2 games per set… outstanding!

Danielle Collins is the big underdog story of the 2019 Australian Open. Collins arrived at Melbourne Park having never won a Grand Slam main draw match and having never even played a main draw match at the Australian Open. Collins has done things the hard way over the last week and a bit, she has impressively made her way through a tough draw.

Danielle Collins of the United States in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Collins started the tournament with big comeback victory over the 14th seeded Julia Goerges, Collins was extremely close to defeat in that match as Goerges served for the match in the second set. Collins rushed through her next 3 matches with straight set wins over Sachia Vickery, Caroline Garcia and an emphatic 6-0 6-2 win over Angelique Kerber. Collins booked her spot in a maiden Grand Slam semi-final with a 2-6 7-5 6-1 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Kvitova and Collins have met once before, a 3-hour epic at the opening round stage of the Brisbane International earlier this month, Kvitova won that match 6-7 7-6 6-3.

Can Collins keep her dream run alive or will a red-hot Kvitova be too strong?

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

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Danielle Collins Australian Open QF Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, Quarter-Final Preview
🇷🇺 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. 🇺🇸 Danielle Collins

An unexpected quarter-final match-up at the Australian Open sees Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Danielle Collins go head-to-head for the first time. This is a huge opportunity for Pavlyuchenkova and Collins to reach a maiden Grand Slam semi-final,, something that neither would have realistically expected when they arrived at Melbourne Park at the start of the week. Who will step up and make the most of this rare chance?

Danielle Collins of the United States in action during her fourth-round match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova arrived in Melbourne in poor form having suffered early round exits in Shenzhen and Hobart. However, as has often been the case with Pavlyuchenkova over the years, she has really stepped up her level on the big stage. Pavlyuchenkova has a had a particularly tough route to the final 8. The Russian stared the event with a straight set win over Monica Puig before coming from a set down to upset the 9th seeded Kiki Bertens. Pavlyuchenkova stormed past Aliaksandra Sasnovich in straight sets in the third round before booking her spot in a second Australian Open quarter-final with a hard-fought 6-7 6-3 6-3 victory over the 5th seeded Sloane Stephens.

Danielle Collins arrived in Melbourne having never won a main draw singles match at a Grand Slam, a week later she is through to the quarter-finals, unbelievable. Collins broke her Grand Slam duck with an upset victory from a set down over the 14th seeded Julia Goerges, since then Collins has been relatively untroubled. The level of Collins has progressively improved throughout the event. Collins defeated Sachia Vickery and Caroline Garcia in straight sets before producing arguably the best performance of her career to thrash Angelique Kerber 6-0 6-2 in less than an hour. Collins was at her aggressive best against Kerber, blasting the former champion off the court.

This will be the first career meeting between Pavlyuchenkova and Collins, a huge occasion for both. Can Collins keep her fairy tale run alive or will Pavlyuchenkova be too strong?

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