Samantha Stosur vs Sabine Lisicki, Wimbledon R2 Preview

Wimbledon 🇬🇧 Second Round Match Preview + Prediction
(14) 🇦🇺 Samantha Stosur vs 🇩🇪 Sabine Lisicki

The pick of the second round clashes at SW19 on Wednesday sees the fourteenth seeded Sam Stosur come up against former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki. Stosur has clearly been the more impressive player over the last couple of months but Lisicki is far more comfortable on a grass court and has a far greater record at Wimbledon compared to her Australian opponent.

 

Sam Stosur has a very well documented poor record at Wimbledon. The Australian number 1 has never advanced to the second week in London and has only ever reached the third round on three occasions from thirteen attempts. Stosur did make a reasonably strong start to her 2016 Wimbledon campaign on Monday where she recorded a fairly comfortable 7-5 6-3 victory over Magda Linette. Stosur was pretty dominant behind her own serve and will need to serve very well in her second round clash with Lisicki on Wednesday if she is to stand any chance against the big-serving German. 

Sabine Lisicki always raises her level at the All England Club. The German’s game is built for grass and she clearly feels very comfortable on the surface. Lisicki has reached at least the quarter-final stage on five of her seven previous appearances at the event, an astonishing record for a player that has not reached the quarter-final stage of any other Grand Slam event. Lisicki made a powerful start to her 2016 Wimbledon campaign on Monday by recording a commanding 6-1 6-3 win over Shelby Rogers. Despite Sabine’s poor results in 2016 it seems like she is again posed for a deep run at this year’s event.

 

Sam Stosur holds a dominant 5-2 head-to-head record over Lisicki. However, the pair have not played in over two years and the German has actually won 2 of their last 3 matches. Interestingly, Stosur has won 2 of the 3 matches the pair have played on a grass court, but it was Lisicki who win their most recent match on a grass court, a 4-6 6-2 6-1 win at Wimbledon in 2013.

Lisicki must have the edge heading into this match given her far superior record on grass and more specifically at Wimbledon. Stosur may have the better form heading into this event but that counts for nothing given all of her big results in recent times were on a clay court. In theory this is a terrible match-up for Stosur on this particular surface as Lisicki has all of the weapons to hurt Stosur from the baseline. Furthermore, Stosur doesn’t have a good return of serve which can be exposed by Lisicki on this surface. Holding serve is very important on this surface and particularly in this match-up, Lisicki should be able to hold serve with greater ease and will therefore be on top.

Prediction: Sabine Lisicki to defeat Samantha Stosur in 2 sets

Carla Suarez Navarro vs Sabine Lisicki, Madrid R2 Preview

Madrid R2: (8) Carla Suarez Navarro vs Sabine Lisicki

An extreme contrast in styles will go head-to-head on Tuesday at the Mutua Madrid Open when the smart, consistent Carla Suarez Navarro comes up the erratic but powerful Sabine Lisicki. It’s always intriguing to watch a match-up with a big contrast in styles, but it is hard to see the German’s game having much success against the Spaniard on clay. 

Suarez Navarro progressed through to the second round in Madrid courtesy of an extremely hard-fought 3-6 6-2 6-3 victory over Timea Babos. Carla was outplayed for the first set and a bit but managed to raise her level and was ultimately a bit too classy for Babos. The Spaniard will face a similar opponent in the second round when she comes up against Lisicki, another aggressive opponent that will aim to hit through Carla’s strong defense.

 

Sabine Lisicki’s 2016 has been quite horrendous, amassing a 6-8 win/loss record including 4 first round losses. Lisicki’s 6-1 6-3 first round victory over Monica Puig at the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday was arguably the German’s most significant win over the season thus far. A great victory over an important that has been in good form is better suited to the clay courts. Lisicki will still need to take her game to a whole new level if she is to advance any further in Madrid by upsetting Suarez Navarro. 

Suarez Navarro has a perfect 2-0 head-to-head record over Lisicki. Both of their previous matches required a third set, including Suarez Navarro’s 6-3 3-6 7-6 win over the German at the Sydney International in 2015 in what was their most recent clash.

This will be the first meeting between Suarez Navarro and Lisicki on a clay court, giving Suarez Navarro an even greater edge in this match-up. Sabine Lisicki has all the weapons to hurt Suarez Navarro, however it would take a miracle for the German to consistently play at a high enough level to hit through Carla on a clay court. Suarez Navarro is in good form at the moment and is keen to impress in front of her home crowd in Madrid, this should be a pretty comfortable win for Carla. 

Prediction: Carla Suarez Navarro to defeat Sabine Lisicki in 2 sets

Sabine Lisicki vs Naomi Broady, Malaysian Open QF Preview

Malaysian Open QF: (3) (wc) Sabine Lisicki vs Naomi Broady

An interesting quarter-final match-up in Kuala Lumpur sees 2 of the biggest servers go head-to-head when Sabine Lisicki comes up against Naomi Broady. This will be the first career meeting between the pair.

Sabine Lisicki has made a really poor start to the season but has a chance to gain some much needed momentum in Kuala Lumpur. The German advanced through to the quarter-finals courtesy of tight straight set victories over Magda Linette and Barbora Krejcikova. Kuala Lumpur is the first event in 2016 that Sabine has managed to record back-to-back victories, a couple more victories for Sabine would be the perfect preparation heading into Indian Wells and Miami where the German has a significant amount of points to defend.

 

Unlike Sabine Lisicki, Naomi Broady does having winning momentum on her side after a positive start to the season. However, the majority of Naomi’s victories have been at the lower level including a title run at the 100k ITF event in Midland a couple of weeks ago. Broady started the week in Kuala Lumpur with a three set win over Klara Koukalova before beating Zhaoxuan Yang in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals.

On paper, this looks like a bit of a danger match for Sabine but I actually expect her to do well in this match-up. Obviously both players are fantastic servers but Sabine is far more competent and versatile from the baseline and is also a better returner and has far greater movement and defensive skills. Sabine should win this match. 

Prediction: Sabine Lisicki to defeat Naomi Broady in 2 sets


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Sabine Lisicki vs Barbora Krejcikova, Malaysian Open R2 Preview

Malaysian Open R2: (3) (wc) Sabine Lisicki vs (Q) Barbora Krejcikova

Sabine Lisicki will be aiming to win back-to-back matches for the first time in 2016 and for the first time since the U.S Open last year when she comes up against Barbora Krejcikova in the second round at the Malaysian Open. This week is a good opportunity for the German to gain a much needed confidence boost heading into Indian Wells and Miami where Lisicki has a ton of points to defend.

 

Sabine Lisicki navigated her way through a potentially dangerous first round clash in Kuala Lumper, recording a 6-4 7-6 victory over Magda Linette. Sabine’s level was very up and down throughout the match and things got particularly wobbly for Sabine when she attempted to close out the match. The German failed to serve out the match at 6-5 and trailed 1-5 in the tiebreak before winning 6 points in a row to claim a much needed win.

Barbora Krejcikova recorded just her second round main draw victory at the tour level by defeating Yafan Wang 6-4 1-6 6-2. The 20-year-old Czech has built up some nice momentum after storming through the qualifying draw without dropping a set. Barbora will face the toughest opponent of her career thus far when she comes up against Lisicki in the second round in Kuala Lumpur.

On paper this looks like a massive mismatch. Lisicki is the clear favourite. This is an important week for Sabine, the German is in desperate need of a confidence boost before she heads to Indian Wells and Miami otherwise she is in serious danger of dropping a severe number points and a dramatic drop in rankings. This is a match Sabine should be winning.

Prediction: Sabine Lisicki to defeat Barbora Krejcikova in 2 sets


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Hopman Cup Day 1 Preview

The 2016 Hopman Cup will begin on Sunday where both Australian teams will be in action. Serena Williams will be the headline act at the event for the second year in a row, the tournament also features a number of WTA rising stars including Karolina Pliksova, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Garcia and Daria Gavrilova. Unfortunately Poland will not be defending their title 2016 title, a new champion will be crowned.

Australia Green vs Germany: Daria Gavrilova vs Sabine Lisicki

Daria Gavrilova will be representing Australia for the very first time when she contests the opening match of the tournament against German Sabine Lisicki on Sunday.

It will be interesting to see how Gavrilova responds to the occasion, this will be an important moment for Daria. Gavrilova is a passionate character and should thrive in this type of situation, Daria will be keen to impress with a spot in the Australian Fed Cup team up for grabs in 2016.

Sabine Lisicki will be making her first appearance at the Hopman Cup since 2010. Lisicki has struggled at the Australian Open in recent years, failing to get passed in the second round in her last three appearances. Sabine will be hoping a change in preparation will lead to better results in Melbourne, a guaranteed 3 matches is always useful.

This will be the first ever meeting between Daria and Sabine. The two were scheduled to meet in the second round at Roland Garros last year but Daria was forced to hand Sabine a walkover due to injury.

This is an interesting match-up between one of the hardest hitters on the tour and one of the quickest players on the tour. Both have the ability to hurt the other, it will all be about who is able to execute their game in their first competitive match of the year. I think Gavrilova will be extra motivated to pick up a victory in her first match representing Australia. It will be tough for Sabine to come out and hit Daria off the court in her first match of the year.

Prediction: Daria Gavrilova to defeat Sabine Lisicki in 3 sets
Australia Gold vs Czech Republic: Jarmila Gajdosova vs Karolina Pliskova

Both Jarmila Gajdosova and Karolina Pliskova were late entries into the 2016 Hopman Cup. Jarmila Gajdosova is replacing the injured Casey Dellacqua whilst Karolina Pliskova is replacing the injured Lucie Safarova. This promises to be fast paced match between two ladies who prefer to keep rallies as short as possible. 

Jarmila and Karolina are quite experienced when it comes to representing their country, Gajdosova has represented Australia in the Fed Cup world group stage whilst Karolina Pliskova was a crucial member of a triumphant Czech Republic Fed Cup team in 2016.

Karolina Pliskova and Jarmila Gajdosova were both pretty active during the off-season, competing in the IPTL. Karolina’s off-season was particularly busy given she also competed in the Fed Cup final, this could give Karolina an edge heading into this event as she will not be as rusty as her opponents.

Karolina won the only previous encounter between the pair, a 7-6 6-1 victory in Miami 2013 at the qualifying stage. Karolina does most things better than Jarmila and should enjoy the slightly more relaxed atmosphere at the Hopman Cup.

Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Jarmila Gajdosova in 2 sets

Simona Halep vs Sabine Lisicki, U.S Open R4 Preview

U.S Open R4: (2) Simona Halep vs (24) Sabine Lisicki

Simona Halep’s quest for a maiden Grand Slam title continues on Monday when she comes up against big serving German Sabine Lisicki. Halep has comfortably advanced to the fourth round and is likely to face her biggest test of the tournament thus far when she comes up against the dangerous German.

Halep has been relatively untroubled this week in her progression to the fourth round. The Romanian has recorded straight set victories over Marina Erakovic, Kateryna Bondarenko and Shelby Rogers. Halep seems to be in a good place at the moment, looking a lot more like the confident player that enjoyed a lot of success at the start of the year. Simona will be looking to reach the quarter-final stage at Flushing Meadows for the very first time on Monday, the only Grand Slam that the Romanian is yet to advance to the final 8.

 

Sabine Lisicki will also be aiming to reach the quarter-final stage at the U.S Open for the first time in her career. The German recorded comfortable straight set victories over Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Camila Giorgi before advancing to the fourth round with a controversial 6-4 4-6 7-5 win over Barbora Strycova. In one of the worst matches of the tournament thus far, Lisicki was down 1-5 in the final set and looked set for a third round exit. The German called for the trainer and seemingly disrupted Barbora’s rhythm. Sabine started to raise her level and showed no signs of injury, winning 6 straight games to set up a clash with Halep.

Simona holds a perfect 4-0 head to head record over Sabine and should make it 5 form 5 on Monday. Simona should be too consistent and too smart for the erratic German. Sabine’s level was generally quite horrible in her victory over Strycova, this should be a comfortable victory for the determined Romanian.

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Sabine Lisicki in 2 sets

Barbora Strycova vs Sabine Lisicki, U.S Open R3 Preview

U.S Open R3: Barbora Strycova vs (24) Sabine Lisicki

Another fascinating third round match-up on Saturday at Flushing Meadows sees Barbora Strycova come up against Sabine Lisicki. The contrasting styles between these two always makes for an interesting encounter, the clever, unorthodox Strycova up against the hard-hitting, big serving Lisicki. Both ladies struggled in the build up to the U.S Open, to reach the fourth round would mean so much to both, this is a massive opportunity for Barbora and Sabine.

Barbora Strycova kick-started her week with an impressive 7-5 6-0 upset victory over Timea Bacsinszky. Strycova battled through a tough first set in tough conditions before running away with the match in the second set. Strycova came extremely close to shock to a second round exit, surviving a surprisingly tight match to defeat Qiang Wang 6-2 4-6 7-5. Strycova will be looking to reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the very first time on Saturday and will also be looking for her first career victory over the German.

 

Sabine Lisicki has stormed into the third round in New York. The German blasted her way past Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-1 6-4 in the first round before recording a 6-4 6-0 victory over Camila Giorgi. In a battle between two of the biggest hitters on tour, it was Sabine who executed her game better, firing 13 aces past the Italian in a superior serving performance.

In the only previous meeting between these two, Sabine defeated Barbora 7-6 6-4 in Toronto just a couple of weeks ago. This is not an easy match-up for either lady, Sabine has the ability to blast Strycova off the court, however Strycova has the ability to really frustrate Sabine and throw her off her game. On this occasion, I think it will be Strycova who will get the job done. Sabine can’t be trusted in a match like this and is due for a bad match.

Prediction: Barbora Strycova to defeat Sabine Lisicki in 3 sets

Belinda Bencic vs Sabine Lisicki, Toronto R3 Preview

Toronto R3: Belinda Bencic vs Sabine Lisicki

Another intriguing third round clash at the Rogers Cup in Toronto sees Belinda Bencic come up against Sabine Lisicki. Bencic continues to rise up the rankings and will have her eyes set on another big victory against the German on Thursday.

Bencic backed up her 6-0 5-7 6-2 victory over Eugenie Bouchard in the opening round with a hard fought 7-5 7-5 second round victory over Caroline Wozniacki. Bencic has now beaten the Dane twice in a row, a solid effort at this stage in her career, especially since Wozniacki beat Bencic 6-0 6-0 in their first encounter which was just over a year ago. Bencic seems to be playing with endless confidence at the moment, The Swiss rising star is not intimidated by the big stage and continues to impress.

 

After routing Venus Williams 6-0 6-3 in the opening round, Sabine Lisicki booked her spot in the third round with a 7-6 6-4 victory over Barbora Strycova. Lisicki kept her cool at the business end of each set, encouraging signs for the German moving forward.

In their only previous meeting, Sabine Lisicki blasted a record breaking 27 aces past Bencic in a 6-1 7-6 victory in Birmingham earlier this year. I expect this to be a very different match, I like Belinda’s chances. Bencic is very solid for the baseline at the moment and should be clever enough to frustrate the German into enough errors to pick the victory.

Prediction: Belinda Bencic to defeat Sabine Lisicki in 2 sets

Sabine Lisicki vs Barbora Strycova, Toronto R2 Preview

Toronto R2: Sabine Lisicki vs Barbora Strycova

Sabine Lisicki will come up against Barbora Strycova on Wednesday in Toronto, a fascinating second round matchup between two contrasting styles.

Sabine Lisicki booked her spot in the second round with a crushing 6-0 6-3 victory over Venus Williams. The German made a horror start to her U.S Open series in Stanford where she blew a 6-1 3-1 lead against Kimiko Date-Krumm. Sabine had no such problems in her opening round match in Toronto, Sabine was solid from start to finish, serving well and punishing the American’s weak second serve. It’s important for Sabine to back up her first round performance on Wednesday when she comes up against Barbora Strycova.

 

Barbora Strycova also made an impressive start to her Rogers Cup campaign. Strycova comprehensively defeated Varvara Lepchenko 6-2 6-4. A solid result given the American played great tennis last week where she reached the semi-finals in Stanford.

Strycova won the only previous encounter between the pair, a hard fought 7-5 6-4 victory in Doha earlier this year. This is a tough match to call, Strycova has an awkward game which can easily disrupt the German, however Sabine does have the game to blow Strycova off the court. I think Strycova will be clever enough to prevail in this one.

Prediction: Barbora Strycova to defeat Sabine Lisicki in 3 sets

Venus Williams vs Sabine Lisicki, Toronto R1 Preview

Toronto R1: (14) Venus Williams vs Sabine Lisicki

Venus Williams faces a tough first up test on Monday Evening, the 2014 runner-up comes up against the always dangerous Sabine Lisicki in what should be an entertaining first round encounter.

Venus Williams made a solid start to the season but things fell away for the American. Venus has already played in one event since Wimbledon, suffering a shock first round exit to Bondarenko in Istanbul. Venus will be keen to emulate last year’s impressive run to the final where she played some of her best tennis in recent years.

 

Sabine Lisicki made an extremely disappointing start to her U.S Open series. The German suffered a humiliating 6-1 6-7 2-6 loss to Kimiko Date-Krumm. Lisicki looked to be cruising when she led 6-1 3-1 but her game quickly crumbled as Date-Krumm was handed her first main draw victory of the year. Sabine will be keen to make amends for that loss on Monday.

Lisicki has reason to be confident heading into this match, the German has 2-1 head to head record over the American. In their most recent encounter, Sabine thumped Venus 6-1 6-2 in Beijing back in 2013.

 

This is an extremely tough match to call, you never know what to expect from these two in a first round match, especially Sabine. I’m going to give the slight edge to Sabine, the German enjoys playing against big-hitters like Venus and I think she will rise for the occasion and upset last year’s runner-up at the Rogers Cup.

Prediction: Sabine Lisicki to defeat Venus Williams in 3 sets