🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R2 Preview 🇩🇪 Tatjana Maria vs. 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic
An interesting second round match-up from Wimbledon on Wednesday sees in-form German: Tatjana Maria take on talented Frenchwoman: Kristina Mladenovic. Maria enters this match on a 6-match winning streak and fresh off a huge opening round upset victory over the 5th seeded Elina Svitolina. However, the German has never beaten Mladenovic before and has only made it past the second round of a Grand Slam on 1 prior occasion. Can the German continue her hot-streak?
Tatjana Maria started her 2018 Wimbledon campaign with the biggest win of her career, a 7-6 4-6 6-1 victory over Elina Svitolina. Maria’s eclectic game was too much for an out of sorts Svitolina to handle. The 30-year-old had the perfect preparation for Wimbledon after winning the first title of her career in Mallorca, defeating the likes of Anett Kontaveit, Carina Witthoeft, Lucie Safarova and Anastasija Sevastova on route to the title, an impressive set of results. It is fair to say the German is currently playing the best tennis of her career.
Kristina Mladenovic battled through a tough opening round match with Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, the Frenchwoman eventually proved to be a class above as she claimed a hard-fought 5-7 6-2 6-2 victory. Mladenovic’s recent form has not been great but it has been decent. There is less pressure on Mladenovic at the moment, her ranking now reflects her true standing and she doesn’t have the added stress of large chunks of points to defend.
Mladenovic has won the 2 previous encounters between the pair. A 6-4 6-3 win on clay in Charleston in 2016, more recently Mladenovic defeated the German 7-5 3-6 6-3 on a hard court in Washington last year. Wednesday’s meeting will be their first on a grass court, a surface that seemingly gives Maria her best chance at victory in this match-up.
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🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview 🇺🇦 (5) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇩🇪 Tatjana Maria
The 5th seeded Elina Svitolina looms as one of the most vulnerable top seeded players in the early stages at Wimbledon. Svitolina has drawn a potentially tricky early round opponent in the form of Tatjana Maria. The German arrives at Wimbledon full of confidence having won the first title of her career in Mallorca a few weeks ago.
Elina Svitolina’s disappointing Grand Slam record has continued in 2018. The Ukrainian suffered a shock third round exit at Roland Garros at the hands of Mihaela Buzarnescu, a tournament where she was favoured to win the title. Unfortunately for Svitolina her chances of breaking her Grand Slam duck seem unlikely at Wimbledon, Svitolina’s record at SW19 is not great, having only reached the second week on 1 occasion, a fourth round showing last year. Svitolina played one event in the lead-up to Wimbledon, a decent quarter-final showing in Birmingham.
At the age of 30 Tatjana Maria won a maiden WTA title in Mallorca a few weeks ago and thus she arrives at Wimbledon on a 6-match winning streak. Maria beat several quality opponents in Mallorca, 3 set wins over Anett Kontaveit and Lucie Safarova and a straight set win over Anastasija Sevastova in the final. Maria’s game is well suited to grass because of her strong slice and willingness to move forward.
The only previous match between the pair ended in a 6-2 6-2 win for Svitolina in Beijing in 2016.
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Australian Open 🇦🇺 R1 Preview
🇩🇪 Tatjana Maria vs 🇷🇺 Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova returns to the Australian Open in 2018 for the first time since she failed a drug test at the event in 2016. Sharapova will begin her 2018 campaign with a fairly favourable opening round draw, the Russian will take on Germany’s Tatjana Maria.
Maria Sharapova started her 2018 season with a decent showing in Shenzhen. Sharapova made it through the semi-finals with wins over Mihaela Buzarnescu, Alison Riske and Zarina Diyas before succumbing to Katerina Siniakova in 3 sets. Sharapova made it to the fourth round at the U.S Open last year in her first Grand Slam appearance back from suspension, it will be interesting see how far Sharapova can go in Melbourne. Interestingly, Sharapova is set to meet Sevastova In the second round, Sharapova’s conqueror in New York last year.
Tatjana Maria has opened her 2018 season with back-to-back opening round defeats. Maria was beaten by Lucic-Baroni in straight sets in Brisbane before being eliminated I the opening round in Hobart by Donna Vekic, also a straight sets loss. The 30-year-old has only ever won 2 main draw matches in Melbourne.