Roland Garros, R2 Preview 🇭🇷 Petra Martic vs. 🇨🇳 Qiang Wang
Petra Martic and Qiang Wang will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the second round stage at Roland Garros on Wednesday. The draw has opened up nicely for these two, the winner of this match will face either Yulia Putintseva and Jennifer Brady in the next round, both Martic and Wang would see either of those potential opponents as very beatable meaning both have a great chance to reach the second week in Paris.
Petra Martic has reached the second week at the 3 of the last 4 Grand Slam events. Martic is now in a favourable position to reach that spot again in Paris. The Croatian started the event with a comfortable 6-2 6-3 victory against China’s Yafan Wang. Martic has been extremely consistent in 2018, almost always winning the matches that she is expected to win, a good habit to have.
Qiang Wang caused one of the biggest upsets on day 1 in Paris as she defeated the 9th seeded Venus Williams 6-4 7-5. Wang’s victory over Venus was undoubtedly one of the biggest wins of her career and it was just her second main draw victory at Roland Garros.
Martic and Wang will both view this is a winnable match, both are very consistent players so we should expect a tight match here. Who will prevail?
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BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells SF Preview 🇺🇸 (8) Venus Williams vs. 🇷🇺 (20) Daria Kasatkina
Friday’s opening semi-final from the BNP Paribas Open sees the 8th seeded Venus Williams come up against the 20th seeded Daria Kasatkina. Williams and Kasatkina have both been very impressive on route to the semi-final stage in Indian Wells, both Williams and Kasatkina have reached the final 4 without dropping a set. The pair played out a couple of epic matches in 2016, both ended deep in a third set, split 1 win apiece. Expect another great battle between these two given how well they have both played in the Californian desert.
The evergreen Venus Williams is into yet another semi-final, 16 years after she reached world number 1 for the first time. Venus has had to overcome all types of different challenges over the last week and a half. Most notably, Venus was able to defeat Serena for the first time in 4 years in the third round with a 6-3 6-4 victory. Venus also claimed a straight set win over Sorana Cirstea before booking her spot in the final 4 with wins over Anastasija Sevastova and Carla Suarez Navarro, two potentially tricky opponents for the American. Venus’s commanding 6-3 6-2 win over Suarez Navarro on Thursday evening was particularly impressive.
Daria Kasatkina is in red-hot form. Kasatkina has won 11 of her last 14 matches which includes a semi-final appearance in St. Petersburg and a runner-up performance in Dubai last month. Kasatkina continues to be a giant killer. Kasatkina has beaten 5 top 10 opponents in the last 2 months including back-to-back victories over top 10 opponents to reach the biggest semi-final of her career in Indian Wells. Kasatkina has rocketed past 3 Grand Slam champions in a row: a 6-4 6-3 win over Sloane Stephens, 6-4 7-5 over Caroline Wozniacki and finally a 6-0 6-2 demolition of Angelique Kerber. The slow, high bouncing hard courts in Indian Wells are proving perfect for the heavy Kasatkina forehand and her amazing defensive abilities.
The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Both matches were back in 2016, Kasatkina shocked Venus in Auckland, a 6-7 6-3 6-3 win before Venus outlasted Kasatkina in an epic at Wimbledon, 7-5 4-6 10-8. 2 years later, Kasatkina has improved dramatically but Venus has also improved. Who will emerge victorious on this occasion?
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BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells QF Preview 🇺🇸 (8) Venus Williams vs. 🇪🇸 (27) Carla Suarez Navarro
An interesting quarter-final clash from the Californian desert sees Venus Williams come up against Carla Suarez Navarro. These two opponents are very familiar with each other having played on 8 previous occasions, Venus holds a 5-3 H2H advantage. This is an interesting matchup because of the large contrast in styles between the pair, the powerful game of Venus up against the crafty Spaniard. Both have taken out some big names up until this point and will feel confident heading into this match.
Venus Williams has come through a tough section of the draw to reach the final 8 without dropping a set. Venus started the week with a 6-3 6-4 win over Sorana Cirstea in what was her first regular tour event of the year. Venus then claimed her first victory over Serena in 4 years, a hard-fought 6-3 6-4 win. The 8th seeds toughest match was in the fourth round where she beat Anastasija Sevastova 7-6 6-4. The first set could have gone either way but Venus was more clinical in the important moments and managed to come from a break down in each set to secure a straight set victory.
Suarez Navarro is into her second quarter-final of the year at a big event after reaching the final 8 in Melbourne in January. Suarez Navarro required 3 sets to get past Su-Wei Hsieh in the opening round before producing a vastly improved performance to eliminate the 4th seeded Elina Svitolina 7-5 6-3 in what was one of the Spaniard’s best victories in recent years. The 27th seed confirmed her spot in the quarter-finals with a fairly comfortable 6-2 6-4 win over Danielle Collins.
Venus Williams has won the last 3 meetings between the pair and holds a overall 5-3 win/loss record of Suarez Navarro. The last meeting between the pair took place at the U.S Open last year, a 6-3 3-6 6-1 win for the American. Prior to that, Venus defeated Carla 7-6 6-4 at Wimbledon in 2016.
To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here
BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells R3 Preview 🇺🇸 (9) Venus Williams vs. 🇺🇸 Serena Williams
A blockbuster third round clash from Indian Wells sees the Williams sisters go head-to-head for 29th time on Monday evening at the BNP Paribas Open. This promises to be one of the most special matches between the pair, their first meeting since Serena became a mother, 17 years after their infamous scheduled meeting in Indian Wells. This match will be a celebration of all they achieved. a full circle moment since the horrible scenes of 2001. On court, this looks like the greatest chance Venus has to beat Serena in a while.
Venus Williams has not played much tennis in 2018, the American suffered consecutive first round losses in Australia before winning a couple of matches in a Fed Cup tie against the Netherlands. Venus kickstarted her Indian Wells campaign on Saturday with a decent performance as she defeated Sorana Cirstea 6-3 6-4. Venus looked much sharper than she had in previous matches this year.
Serena Williams has made an outstanding return to the tour, claiming a couple of straight set victories in her first tournament since winning the Australian Open last year. Serena has come up against a pair of inspired opponents, beating Zarina Diyas 7-5 6-3 and Kiki Bertens 7-6 7-5. Serena faced difficult moments in each set but on each occasion she was too strong in the critical moments which has been her trademark over the years. Importantly, Serena’s speed, movement, serve and strength seem to all still be there, it seems like Serena will be contending for the biggest title sooner rather than later, perhaps even at the BNP Paribas Open.
Serena holds a 17-11 head-to-head record over Venus. Serena has won 7 of the last 9 matches between the pair. Most recently Serena defeated Venus in last year’s Australian Open final.
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Australian Open 🇦🇺 R1 Preview
(5) 🇺🇸 Venus Williams vs 🇨🇭 Belinda Bencic
The pick of the opening round matches at the 2018 Australian Open sees Venus William come up against Belinda Bencic. The 2017 runner-up has certainly been dealt the toughest opening round match-up, Belinda Bencic is the most dangerous unseeded floater in the draw. Bencic is in outstanding form heading into the opening Grand Slam of the year. This looms as an intriguing battle between experience and youth. Venus has won the 4 previous matches between the pair but will have her work cut out to maintain her unbeaten record over the Swiss rising-star.
Venus Williams enjoyed a marvellous 2017 season, unfortunately the 37-year-old just missed out on achieving her ultimate goal of winning another Grand Slam title. A passion to win another Grand Slam will be the drive for Venus in 2018. Venus played just one event in the lead up to the first Grand Slam of the year where she was beaten in her opening match by eventual champion Angelique Kerber 7-5 6-3 6-1 at the Sydney International. Venus showed glimpses of her 2017 form throughout the match but was understandably rusty and her level fell away towards the end of the match. Venus will be better off for the hit and usually does not played many matches before a Grand Slam event.
Belinda Bencic had a hybrid off-season. Bencic’s 2017 season ended late, Bencic won back-to-back WTA 125K titles in Hua Hin and Taipei before winning the 100K ITF title in Dubai. A few weeks later Bencic competed at the Hopman Cup where she helped guide Switzerland to the title alongside Roger Federer. Bencic won 3 of her 4 singles matches, her only defeat came in the final against Kerber. Bencic also competed in Kooyong just last week where she won the women’s championship, coming from a set down to beat Andrea Petkovic in the final. I think Bencic’s scheduling heading into Melbourne has been perfect.
Venus Williams has won all 4 of their previous matches between the pair, all in straight sets. Most recently Venus beat Bencic 6-3 6-4 at the U.S Open in 2015. Can an in-form Bencic claim her first win over Venus Williams or will the evergreen American be too strong?
WTA Finals, 🏆🇸🇬🦁🐉🏨 Singapore Match Preview + Prediction Championship match: (5) 🇺🇸 Venus Williams vs (6) 🇩🇰 Caroline Wozniacki
A blockbuster final is set for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore when Venus Williams comes up against Caroline Wozniacki on Sunday evening. This is a huge match for both ladies, both have continuously come up short at the later stages of major tournaments in 2017, both will be desperate to reverse that trend and end their season on the ultimate high.
The head-to-head record between these two really stands out heading into Sunday’s final. Outstandingly, Venus holds a 7-0 head-to-head record over Wozniacki. The Dane has only ever won 1 set over the American. The pair have not gone head-to-head in over 2 and a half years. An improved Wozniacki, on a slow hard court will fancy her chances in this final despite her poor record against Venus.
WTA Finals, 🏆🇸🇬🦁🐉🏨 Singapore Match Preview + Prediction Semi-Final #2: (8) 🇫🇷 Caroline Garcia vs (5) 🇺🇸 Venus Williams
Saturday’s second semi-final in Singapore sees two unexpected semi-finalists go head-to-head as Caroline Garcia comes up against Venus Williams. Garcia and Williams were both comfortably defeated in straight sets in their opening matches before securing their passage through the group stage with back-to-back hard-fought victories. This should be an exciting encounter between two powerful, flashy, tough competitors. Can Garcia keep her incredible record in Asia going? Or will Venus continue to defy the odds?
WTA Finals, 🏆🇸🇬🦁🐉🏨 Singapore Match Preview + Prediction RR: ⚪ White Group: (2) 🇪🇸 Garbine Muguruza vs (5) 🇺🇸 Venus Williams
Garbine Muguruza and Venus Williams will square off on Thursday evening for a place in the semi-finals at the WTA Finals in Singapore. Both Muguruza and Williams enter this match with 1 win and 1 loss to their name in the white group. Karolina Pliskova became the first to qualify for the semi-finals in the white group with a 2-0 record whilst Jelena Ostapenko was the first to be eliminated after going 0-2. This all means that Muguruza and Williams have everything to play for in this encounter, in what will be the first time the pair have gone head-to-head since their historic Wimbledon final earlier year which saw Muguruza win her second Grand Slam title.
WTA Finals, 🏆🇸🇬🦁🐉🏨 Singapore Match Preview + Prediction RR: ⚪ White Group: (5) 🇺🇸 Venus Williams vs (7) 🇱🇻 Jelena Ostapenko
Venus Williams and Jelena Ostapenko will go head-to-head in Tuesday’s first match from the white group. The pressure is one both Williams and Ostapenko heading into this crucial clash after disappointing straight set losses in their opening group stage matches in Singapore on Sunday evening The last two years in Singapore have shown that losing the first group stage match does not mean it’s over, all 3 previous champions in Singapore lost their first match of the tournament. This will be an intriguing contest between the oldest ever competitor in Singapore and the youngest. Venus won the only previous clash between tee pair in straight sets at Wimbledon earlier this year, can she repeat that effort here?
WTA Finals, 🏆🇸🇬🦁🐉🏨 Singapore Match Preview + Prediction RR: ⚪ White Group: (3) 🇨🇿 Karolina Pliskova vs (5) 🇺🇸 Venus Williams
Karolina Pliskova and Venus Williams will kickstart what is sure to be a fascinating week in Singapore when they do battle on Sunday in the white group. Karolina Pliskova is competing in Singapore for the second time, the Czech third seed failed to make it past the group stage last year and will be hoping to change that in 2017. Incredibly, Venus Williams first made it to the WTA Finals in 1999, the 2008 champion will be competing at the event for the first time since 2008. The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece, this promises to be another tight clash between two evenly matched competitors. Who will win the first match of the WTA Finals?