Petra Kvitova vs. Kateryna Bondarenko, Eastbourne R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley International, Eastbourne R2 Preview
🇨🇿 (3) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇺🇦 Kateryna Bondarenko

Petra Kvitova arrives in Eastbourne as the form player on tour. Kvitova is fresh from defending her title in Birmingham and begins her Nature Valley International campaign with a second round clash against Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko.

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

Petra Kvitova is having an outstanding season and is the favourite heading into Wimbledon next week. Kvitova has already won 5 titles, and is a perfect 5 from 5 in finals, making her overall record in finals a superb 25-7. It was a great week for Kvitova in Birmingham, dropping just 1 set on route to the title. Kvitova has won 18 of her last 19 matches, it is fair to say that her best tennis right now is better than anyone else on tour.

Bondarenko is already having a good week in Eastbourne. The Ukrainian easily defeated Katie Swan and Ana Konjuh in the qualifying draw before battling from a set down to defeat Alize Cornet in the opening ground of the main draw. Bondarenko has beaten Kvitova in the past and will fancy her chances of an upset.

Kvitova holds a 3-2 head-to-head advantage over Bondarenko. The Czech has won the last two matches between the pair, most recently a commanding 6-2 6-2 in Stanford last year.

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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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Petra Kvitova vs. Julia Goerges, Birmingham QF Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham QF Preview
🇨🇿 (4) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇩🇪 (5) Julia Goerges

A blockbuster quarter-final in Birmingham sees the 4th seeded Petra Kvitova come up against the 5th seeded Julia Goerges. Kvitova has had the better of Goerges in recent times having won the last 4 matches between the pair, including 3 matches in 2018. Nevertheless, Goerges enters this match on high after a big win over Ash Barty in the previous round, can the German finally get the better of Kvitova?

Julia Goerges of Germany in action during the second round at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova had made a commanding start to the grass court swing. Petra has breezed through her first few matches, a 6-3 6-4 win over Johanna Konta followed by a 6-2 6-2 demolition of Daria Gavrilova. Kvitova is arguably the form player on tour right now having won 15 of her last 16 matches, the 2-time former Wimbledon champion is arguably the tour’s most dangerous player on grass.

Julia Goerges caused a big upset in the second round where she claimed a 7-6 6-3 victory over the in-form Ash Barty. Goerges incredibly saved 7 set points in the opening set, luck was certainly on her side at the end of the opening set before she ran away with the match in the second set. The German claimed a 6-4 6-4 win over Maria Sakkari in the opening round.

Kvitova holds a 5-1 head-to-head record over Goerges. The most recent match between the pair was in a Fed Cup tie earlier this year on an indoor clay court in Stuttgart, a 6-3 6-2 victory. This will be their first career meeting on a grass court.

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Petra Kvitova vs. Daria Gavrilova, Birmingham R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham R2 Preview
🇨🇿 (4) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇦🇺 Daria Gavrilova

Petra Kvitova continues her title defense in Birmingham on Thursday with a potentially tricky second round clash against Australia’s Daria Gavrilova. The two-time Wimbledon champion is currently the favourite heading into Wimbledon and will look to build her form/confidence on the grass over the next couple of weeks. Gavrilova looms as a good test for Petra given the Aussie has won their two most recent matches.

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

Kvitova kick-started her title defense in style in Birmingham as she came through a very tough opening round match-up unscathed, a 6-3 6-4 victory over British number 1 Johanna Konta. It was an impressive performance from Kvitova in her first match on grass in 2018, especially considering she was coming up against a battle hardened opponent who reached the finals in Nottingham a few days ago.

Gavrilova advanced to the second round in Birmingham with a hard-fought 6-3 7-6 victory over Dominika Cibulkova. Grass is a surface that Gavrilova has little experience on, a surface that is not really suited to the Aussie’s game. Nevertheless, Gavrilova does have a versatile game and has had success on quick hard courts in the past.

Gavrilova holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Kvitova. Gavrilova has won the two most recent matches between the pair, both in 2016. A 6-4 6-4 win at the Australian Open and a 6-3 6-4 win in Madrid. This will be their first meeting on grass, a surface heavily suits Kvitova.

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Petra Kvitova vs. Johanna Konta, Birmingham R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham R1 Preview
🇨🇿 (4) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta

The pick of the opening round matches at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham sees defending champion: Petra Kvitova take on Britain’s number 1: Johanna Konta. This is a tough match for Kvitova to start her title defense in Birmingham, Konta brings good form into this event having reached the final in Nottingham last week. This should be an exciting encounter between two players that excel on the grass, who will prevail?

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic practices at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

It was in Birmingham 12 months ago where Kvitova won her first title after that terrible home invasion incident. Petra has not looked back since then, the 2-time Wimbledon champion sits at number 3 in the Race to Singapore standings and looms as one of the favourites at SW19 in a few weeks’ time. This will be Kvitova’s first event on grass in 2018, her first event since a disappointing third round exit at Roland Garros having won back-to-back titles in the lead-up to Paris.

Johanna Konta arrives in Birmingham fresh off disappointment in the Nottingham final for a second year in a row. Konta was once again beaten in a close final in Nottingham, beaten by Ashleigh Barty in 3 sets. Nevertheless, it was still a good week for Konta given it was her first final of 2018 and she was able to get some good wins under her belt. There was an incident with the umpire late in the third set which seemed to ultimately derail Konta, it will be interesting to see how she recovers in Birmingham just a few days later.

Kvitova holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Konta. The most recent match between the pair took place in Wuhan in 2016, Kvitova won that match 6-3 6-4. It was Konta who their only previous match on a grass court, a 5-7 6-4 6-0 victory in Eastbourne in 2016.

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Petra Kvitova vs. Anett Kontaveit, Roland Garros R3 Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, R3 Preview
🇨🇿 (8) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇪🇪 (25) Anett Kontaveit

The pick of the third round matches on Friday at Roland Garros sees the 8th seeded Petra Kvitova take on the 25th seeded Anett Kontaveit in what should be an exciting encounter. Petra Kvitova is the form player on tour having now won 14 matches in a row after winning back-to-back titles in Prague and Madrid prior to arriving in Paris. Nevertheless, Kvitova will face a huge test against an in-form Kontaveit who has the weapons to trouble Petra.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in action during her second-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Kvitova made a slow start to her Roland Garros campaign, the two-time Wimbledon champion was forced to come from a set down to defeat Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg, eventually claiming a 3-6 6-1 7-5 victory. The Czech was much more convincing in her second round victory as she stormed to a 6-1 6-4 victory over Lara Arruabarrena. Overall, it has been a good start for Petra as she has worked hard for victories over two very competent players on this surface.

Recent signs suggest that Kontaveit is ready to take the next step, this third round clash with Kvitova is the perfect chance for Kontaveit to take that next step and reach the third round in Paris for the first time. Kontaveit arrived in Paris on the back of an impressive run to the semi-finals in Rome but has had to dig deep in her first few matches at Roland Garros against far inferior opponents, a 6-1 4-6 6-2 win over Madison Brengle followed by a 7-5 6-2 win over Alexandra Dulgheru.

Kvitova holds a perfect 2-0 H2H record over Kontaveit, however, both of those matches were very close. The pair most recently met last month where Kvitova claimed a hard-fought 6-7 6-3 6-3 victory.

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Petra Kvitova vs. Kiki Bertens, Madrid Final Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, 🏆 Final Preview
🇨🇿 (10) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇳🇱 Kiki Bertens

Saturday’s Mutua Madrid Open final will see the 10th seed and two-time former champion: Petra Kvitova take on the tour’s clay court specialist Kiki Bertens. Kvitova and Bertens both enter this final in supreme form, both head into this match on the back beating a top 10 opponents, Kvitova is on a 10-match winning streak whilst Bertens has won 11 of her last 12 matches. Expect a high quality, close final, who will prevail?

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Petra Kvitova is now within touching distance of becoming the first woman to win the Mutua Madrid Open title on 3 occasions. It has been an outstanding couple of weeks for Kvitova given she arrived in Madrid straight after winning the title in Prague. Kvitova will be aiming to win back-to-back titles for the second time this year and become the first in 2018 to win 4 titles. Kvitova booked her spot in Saturday’s final with a hard-fought 7-6 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova. Petra also defeated Lesia Tsurenko, Monica Puig, Annett Kontaveit and Daria Kasatkina on route to the final.

It can now be argued that Kiki Bertens is the tour’s number 1 clay court specialist. Bertens has an outstanding record on clay over the last few years, amassing an outstanding 50/10 win/loss record at tour level events on clay in the last 3 seasons. Bertens has gone on a giant killing run in Madrid, beating two top 10 opponents and a former champion on route to the final. Bertens started the week with straight set wins over Maria Sakkari, Anastasija Sevastova and Caroline Wozniacki. Bertens’ biggest test came at the quarter-final stage where she came from a set down to beat Maria Sharapova before reaching the biggest final of her career with a clinical 6-2 6-2 win over Caroline Garcia.

Kvitova thrashed Bertens in their only previous encounter, a 6-1 6-0 victory in the first round at Wimbledon in 2015. Bertens was no match for Kvitova on that occasion but almost three years later when they meet in the Madrid final expect Bertens to be far more competitive on a surface that makes this a very even match-up.

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Petra Kvitova vs. Monica Puig, Madrid R2 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Preview
🇨🇿 (10) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇵🇷 (wc) Monica Puig

The in-form Petra Kvitova will be back in action on Tuesday in Madrid as she come up against Puerto Rican wild-card Monica Puig for a spot in the third round. Kvitova is on a roll at the moment, Kvitova arrived in Madrid fresh from winning her third title of the year in Prague. The two-time former champion in Madrid is one of two players this week aiming to be the first to win the Madrid title on 3 separate occasions, the other being the top ranked Simona Halep. Can Puig stop the red-hot Kvitova?

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Kvitova and Puig advanced to the second round in Madrid in contrasting fashion. Kvitova cruised past Lesia Tsurenko 6-1 6-2 despite having less than a day in Madrid to prepare for her opening round match, Conversely, Puig laboured through her first round match, beating Zarina Diyas 6-4 2-6 6-2, ultimately it was a decent win for Puig against a solid opponent.

Surprisingly it is Puig who has won the only two previous matches between the pair, both in 2016. A critical 6-1 1-6 6-3 win at the semi-final stage of the Rio Olympics and a 1-6 6-4 6-4 win in Tokyo a few months later. This will be their first career meeting on a clay court.

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Petra Kvitova vs. Mihaela Buzarnescu, Prague Final Preview

J&T Banka Prague Open, Final Preview
🇨🇿 (2) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇷🇴 Mihaela Buzarnescu

Petra Kvitova will be aiming for her third title in 2018 when she comes up against Mihaela Buzarnescu in Saturday’s Prague Open final. Kvitova will enter this match as a strong favourite, the home crowd favourite is far more experienced on the big stage, at 30 years of age Buzarnescu will be looking to win a maiden WTA title. This will be the first career meeting between the pair, can the Romanian cause a big upset?

Petra Kvitova has been extremely impressive in Prague, storming into the final without dropping a set. Kvitova has not dropped more than 6 games in a single match throughout her 4 victories on route to the final: victories over Tereza Smitkova, Natalia Vikhlyantseva, Katerina Siniakova and Shuai Zhang. Kvitova’s toughest test came at the semi-final stage where she beat Zhang 7-6 6-0, the opening set was extremely tight but it was Kvitova who was tougher deep in the opening set tiebreak.

Heading into 2018 Buzarnescu had never reached the final of a WTA tour level event. The Romanian is now into her second career final having succumbed to Elise Mertens in the Hobart final. Buzarnescu advanced to the semi-final stage in Prague thanks to straight set wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia, Antonia Lottner and Kristyna Pliskova. Buzarnescu secured her spot in Saturday’s final with a 4-6 6-3 7-5 win over Camila Giorgi, a gutsy win for Buzarnescu who won the last 4 games of the match as Giorgi served for the match at 5-3.

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Petra Kvitova vs. Shuai Zhang, Prague SF Preview

J&T Banka Prague Open, SF Preview
🇨🇿 (2) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇨🇳 (6) Shuai Zhang

Petra Kvitova and Shuai Zhang will compete in Friday’s first semi-final in Prague, a match-up between two good friends. Kvitova will enter this match as a strong favourite, the Czech star has certainly been the most impressive player on route to the final 4 and is by far the highest credentialed semi-finalist. However, Zhang has beaten Kvitova a couple of times and won their only previous match on a clay court.

Petra Kvitova has been in fearsome form this week in front of her adoring fans in Prague. Kvitova has stormed into the semi-finals without dropping a set, claiming wins over Tereza Smitkova, Natalia Vikhlyantseva and Katerina Siniakova, all fellow Czech’s. Kvitova is now a strong favourite to win her third title of the year, if she can maintain the level that she has displayed over her first 3 matches then she will be very tough to stop.

Shuai Zhang has also moved into the semi-finals in Prague without dropping a set. Zhang’s form has been far more surprising than Kvitova’s given Zhang arrived in Prague in poor form and with little confidence on clay. Zhang was easily beaten by Rus in straight sets in Istanbul last week. A great turnaround for Zhang who now has nothing to lose at this stage of the tournament. Zhang has beaten Stefanie Voegele, Elena-Gabriela Ruse and Jasmine Paolini on route to the semi-finals.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 2 wins apiece. Interestingly it is Zhang who has won 2 of their last 3 matches, including a 6-2 6-1 demolition in New Haven last year and a 7-6 5-7 6-3 win in Rome in 2014 in what was their only previous match on clay.

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