Angelique Kerber vs. Anett Kontaveit, Stuttgart R2 Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart R2 Preview
🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber vs. 🇪🇪 Anett Kontaveit

Angelique Kerber continues her Stuttgart campaign on Thursday evening with a second round clash against Estonia’s Annett Kontaveit. Kerber kick-started her Stuttgart campaign with an impressive straight set win over Petra Kvitova, avenging her loss to the Czech star just a few days ago at the Fed Cup semi-final stage. The 2016 Stuttgart champion will look to build momentum and push towards another title with a victory over Kontaveit.

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Kerber produced a near-flawless performance in the opening round as she cruised past Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-2. It was a big win for Kerber who would have been bitterly disappointed with her efforts on the weekend as she was beaten by Karolina Pliskova and Kvitova in straight sets as Germany lost to the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup semi-final. As expected Kerber came out breathing fire against Kvitova, clearly she was desperate for revenge and she got just that, in commanding fashion.

Anett Kontaveit was less convincing in her opening round win but her victory was extremely important. Kontaveit claimed a hard-fought 5-7 7-6 7-6 win over Kristina Mladenovic to snap a 4-match losing streak. It was a match that lasted over 3 hours, a dramatic, topsy-turvy encounter between two players that have not been in good form of late. It was a match full of errors and missed chances but to Kontaveit’s credit, it was the Estonian who was slightly tougher in the critical moments.

Interestingly it was Kontaveit who won the only previous match between the pair. A 6-4 6-0 demolition in Rome last year. At that time it was Kontaveit who was in career best form whilst Kerber was in a slump, heading into their Stuttgart clash it is Kerber who is in great form and Kontaveit who is in a slump.

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Caroline Garcia vs. Marta Kostyuk, Stuttgart R2 Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart R2 Preview
🇫🇷 (6) Caroline Garcia vs. 🇺🇦 (Q) Marta Kostyuk

An exciting second round clash in Stuttgart sees the 6th seeded Caroline Garcia come up against 15-year-old rising star Marta Kostyuk. Both Garcia and Kostyuk enter this match on a high. Garcia claimed a huge win over Maria Sharapova in the opening round whilst Kostyuk has already won 4 matches in Stuttgart having come through a tough qualifying draw to reach the main draw.

Caroline Garcia of France in action at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Caroline Garcia’s 3-6 7-6 6-4 victory over Maria Sharapova on Tuesday was one of the biggest wins of the Frenchwoman’s career. Whilst Sharapova is not at her best right now, it was the manner in which Garcia fought past one of the greatest competitors the game has seen that was extremely impressive. Garcia looked destined for defeat for the vast majority of the match, two points from defeat in the second set tiebreak and down a break in the third set, it would have been easy for Garcia to crack. However, Garcia kept fighting and eventually over-powered Sharapova to claim a memorable win.

Marta Kostyuk is easily the most impressive teenager on tour. At 15 years of age, Kostyuk is already inside the top 150 and has had impressive results in 2018, most notably a run to the third round at the Australian Open. Kostyuk secured her spot in the main draw by coming from a set down to defeat Alize Cornet in the final round of qualifying after she defeated Julia Middendorf and Alexandra Cadantu in straight sets. Kostyuk kicked off her main draw campaign with a fairly comfortable 6-4 6-1 win over Antonia Lottner. At this stage of the tournament Kostyuk now has nothing to lose.

This will be the first career meeting between Garcia and Kostyuk. It will be the second time Kostyuk has come up against a top 10 opponent after she was beaten by Svitolina in straight sets at the Australian Open earlier this year.

To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here

Elina Svitolina vs. Marketa Vondrousova, Stuttgart R2 Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart R2 Preview
🇺🇦 (3) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇨🇿 (Q) Marketa Vondrousova

Elina Svitolina will begin her 2018 Stuttgart campaign with a second round clash against Czech Qualifier Marketa Vondrousova. Svitolina is competing in Stuttgart for the first time in her career, the third seed received a bye through the opening round. Svitolina easily defeated Vondrousova earlier this year in Dubai, can the teenager can this a more competitive encounter?

Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in action at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Elina Svitolina has been typically consistent in 2018 but her results are the biggest tournaments have not been terrific. Svitolina arrives in Stuttgart having not played an event for a couple of weeks, her last outing was a quarter-final appearance in Miami where she was beaten by Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets. Clay is arguably Svitolina’s best surface, the 2017 Rome champion will be hoping to add a few titles to her collection over the coming months, ideally a major.

Marketa Vondrousova is already having a great week in Stuttgart. Vondrousova made her way through a tough qualifying draw, the 19-year-old went the distance in all 3 of her wins, beating Karolina Muchova, Oceane Dodin and Carina Witthoeft to secure a spot in the main draw. Vondrousova’s most impressive performance of the event thus far came at the opening round stage of the main draw, a surprisingly comprehensive 6-2 6-2 victory over Julia Goerges. It was a clinical performance by Vondrousova who did not face a break point all match.

The only previous match between the pair ended in a 6-2 6-4 win for Svitolina in Doha earlier this year.

To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here

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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Simona Halep vs Anastasija Sevastova, Stuttgart QF Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, 🇩🇪🏎️ Stuttgart QF Preview
(4) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep vs 🇱🇻 Anastasija Sevastova

A resurgent Simona Halep made a strong start to her Stuttgart campaign on Thursday, claiming a crushing 6-2 6-3 win over Barbora Strycova. Halep is playing the best tennis that she has played all year after she won a couple of big matches in impressive fashion on the weekend in Fed Cup action. Halep faces an in form Anastasija Sevastova at the quarter-final stage in Stuttgart on Friday.

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Maria Sharapova vs Anett Kontaveit, Stuttgart QF Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, 🇩🇪🏎️ Stuttgart QF Preview
(wc) 🇷🇺 Maria Sharapova vs (Q) 🇪🇪 Anett Kontaveit

Maria Sharapova has made an impressive return to the WTA tour in Stuttgart. The 3-time former champion has advanced to the quarter-final stage courtesy of a couple of gritty straight set victories. Sharapova comes up against Annett Kontaveit in the first quarter-final of the day in Stuttgart, Kontaveit is on a 5-game winning streak having come through the qualifying draw so she will enter this match with confidence.

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Angelique Kerber vs Kristina Mladenovic, Stuttgart R2 Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, 🇩🇪🏎️ Stuttgart R2 Preview
(1) 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber vs 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic

Two-time defending champion Angelique Kerber will begin her 2017 Porsche Tennis GP campaign with a second round clash against Kristina Mladenovic. Kerber, an ambassador for Porsche, has thrived at her home event over the last couple of years, winning back-to-back titles at the event, successfully defending a title for the very first time in her career when she won the event last year.

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Maria Sharapova vs Ekaterina Makarova, Stuttgart R2 Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, 🇩🇪🏎️ Stuttgart R2 Preview
(wc) 🇷🇺 Maria Sharapova vs 🇷🇺 Ekaterina Makarova

Maria Sharapova will continue her return to the tour on Thursday with a second round clash against compatriot Ekaterina Makarova. Sharapova has a dominant record over Makarova, winning all six of their previous matches, all in straight sets. Sharapova made a solid return on Wednesday with a straight set win over Roberta Vinci, it will be interesting to see how Sharapova backs up just 24 hours later.

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Garbine Muguruza vs Anett Kontaveit, Stuttgart R2 Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, 🇩🇪🏎️ Stuttgart R2 Preview
(5) 🇪🇸 Garbine Muguruza vs (Q) 🇪🇪 Anett Kontaveit

2016 Roland Garros champion Garbine Muguruza will be back on the red dirt as she gets her 2017 clay court season underway with a second round match-up against an in form Annett Kontaveit at the second round stage in Stuttgart. Muguruza is undoubtedly one of the best performers on a clay court on the WTA tour, if not the very best heading into the 2017 clay swing given the absence of Serena Williams. It will be interesting to see how many titles Muguruza can pick up over the next couple of months, the opportunity is there for Muguruza to be dominant.

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Simona Halep vs Barbora Strycova, Stuttgart R2 Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, 🇩🇪🏎️ Stuttgart R2 Preview
(4) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep vs 🇨🇿 Barbora Strycova

Simona Halep will begin her 2017 Stuttgart campaign with a second round clash against Barbora Strycova. Halep enters the Porsche Tennis GP in the best form that she has been in all year, the Romanian claimed two comfortable wins on the weekend to help secure a 3-2 Fed Cup triumph over Great Britain. Strycova will be no pushover, the Czech is always a difficult prospect, especially for someone playing their first match of the tournament.

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