Elina Svitolina vs. Venus Williams, Roland Garros R1 Preview

🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, R1 Preview
🇺🇦 (9) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇺🇸 Venus Williams

The pick of the opening round match-ups in Paris sees the 9th seeded Elina Svitolina take on Venus Williams. Svitolina is still desperately searching for a maiden Grand Slam title whilst Williams is the most experienced player on tour and can never be underestimated. Can Williams produce another vintage performance to eliminate the 9th seed?

Venus Williams of the United States practices ahead of the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina arrives in Paris on the back of her worst clay court lead-up ever. Svitolina has not won a match on clay in 2019 having suffered opening round losses in Madrid and Rome. Svitolina was beaten by Pauline Parmentier in Madrid and beaten by Victoria Azarenka in Rome where she was the two-time defending champion. Perhaps Svitolina’s poor form will be a blessing in disguise, she is fresh and has less expectations from the critics given her recent struggles on court.

Roland Garros has always been the most troublesome major for Venus Williams but she has been competitive on the surface in recent times. Venus reached the second week in Paris in 2016 and 2017 and is always a threat, no matter the circumstances. Venus played just the one clay court event prior to Paris where she reached the third round in Rome, Venus claimed an epic 3 set win over Elise Mertens in the first round in Rome, in a match that proved Venus is still capable on the red dirt, even in a lengthy battle.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. The most recent match between the pair took place n Cincinnati in 2017, Svitolina claimed a comfortable 6-2 6-1 win on that occasion, Interestingly, it was Venus who won their only previous match on a clay court, a 6-4 6-3 win in Rome in 2015.

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Serena Williams vs. Venus Williams, Rome R2 Preview

#IBI19 Rome R2 Preview
🇺🇸 (10) Serena Williams vs. 🇺🇸 (WC) Venus Williams

Serena Williams and Venus Williams will go head-to-head for the 31st time when they do battle at the second round stage of the Internazionali bnl d’Italia, Rome. Serena had dominated this match-up in recent times having won 9 of the last 11 meetings between the pair, however this will be their first meeting on clay in over 6 years and their first on red clay in over 14 years, so it will be interesting to see how the match pans out.

Venus Williams of the United States in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Internazionali BNL d'Italia WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Serena Williams made her much anticipated return to action with a fairly comfortable straight set win over Rebecca Peterson in Rome. Williams had not played since a 3 set opening round win over Rebecca Peterson in Miami. The tennis gods drew the pair together again in Rome and this time Williams was far too strong, winning 6-4 6-2. Importantly, the Williams serve was strong, she served 10 aces and won 82% of her first service points.

Venus Williams was also in action for the first time since Miami on Monday in Rome. Venus was made to work extremely hard to claim a gruelling upset victory over Elise Mertens in over 3 hours of play. Williams squandered 8 match points and saw a 5-1 third set lead evaporate before finally clinching a 7-5 3-6 7-6 victory over the Belgian, one of the biggest wins for Venus in recent times.

Serena holds an 18-12 head-to-head record over Venus. Serena thrashed Venus 6-1 6-2 at the US Open last year in their most recent match. Interestingly their second round meeting in Rome will be their first match-up on red clay since Roland Garros in 2002, so this will be a rare sight in one of the tour’s most prominent match-ups.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Venus Williams, Indian Wells QF Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – QF Preview
🇩🇪 (8) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇺🇸 Venus Williams

A blockbuster quarter-final clash from the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday evening sees Angelique Kerber take on Venus Williams, a match-up featuring two former world number 1’s and a combined 10 Grand Slam singles titles. Whilst the pair have both achieved so much, neither have previously won the title in Indian Wells, therefore we can assume both are hellbent on changing that fact over the next few days in the Californian desert.

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during her fourth-round match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Angelique Kerber has come through a couple of tricky matches to reach the quarter-final stage at Indian for the fourth time. Kerber received a bye through round 1 and started the event with a commanding 6-0 6-2 win over Yulia Putintseva before coming from behind to beat Natalia Vikhlyantseva 3-6 6-1 6-3. Kerber’s greater test came at the fourth round stage where she fought from a double break down in the deciding set to defeat Aryna Sabalenka 6-1 4-6 6-4.

Venus Williams has surpassed expectations this week given her mediocre form heading into the event. Williams started her BNP Paribas Open campaign with a lethargic 3 set win over Andrea Petkovic. It was in the second round that Williams dug deep and claimed her biggest scalp, Williams fought from a set and a break down to beat the third seeded Petra Kvitova 4-6 7-5 6-4. Venus has been relatively untroubled in her last few matches, beating Christina McHale and Mona Barthel in straight sets.

Kerber holds a 5-3 head-to-head record over Williams. The most recent match between the pair took place in Sydney last year, Kerber won that match 5-7 6-3 6-1. On hard courts, Kerber has a slight 3-2 head-to-head advantage.

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Venus Williams vs. Mona Barthel, Indian Wells R4 preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R4 Preview
🇺🇸 Venus Williams vs. 🇩🇪 Mona Barthel

The only fourth round match-up at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open that features two unseeded players sees Venus Williams come up against Mona Barthel. It has been a great tournament thus far for both Williams and Barthel, both have exceeded expectations with victories over more fancied opposition, who will keep their run alive and advance to the final 8?

Venus Williams of the United States in action during her second-round match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

The pressure was on Venus Williams heading into this event. Williams has slipped back outside the top 30 in the rankings and was in danger of slipping further with an early exit in Indian Wells given she is defending semi-finalist points from last year. Venus has seemingly sensed the urgency to perform well and has produced some inspiring performances to reach the fourth round. Venus started the event with a scrappy 3 set win over Andrea Petkovic before causing a huge upset as she came from a set and a break down to defeat the third seeded Petra Kvitova 4-6 7-5 6-4. Williams secured her spot in the fourth round with a solid 6-2 7-5 win over Christina McHale.

Mona Barthel arrived in Indian Wells desperately out of form and just clinging on to a spot in the top 100 in the rankings. Barthel had not won back-to-back matches at the WTA tour level since Tashkent last year making her run to the fourth round in the Californian desert a special one. Barthel started her BNP Paribas Open campaign with a hard-fought 6-4 6-7 7-5 win over Lin Zhu before upsetting the 17th seeded Madison Keys 3-6 6-1 7-5. Barthel made it back-to-back upset victories as she defeated the 15th seeded Julia Goerges 7-5 1-6 6-4. The most impressive part of Barthel’s week thus far has been her ability to get over the line deep into a third set where she has held her nerve well, something she has struggled to do in the past.

Venus Williams holds perfect 3-0 head-to-head record over Barthel. All 3 of those victories were in straight sets, including a 6-3 7-5 victory at the 2017 Australian Open in their most recent match. Can an in-form Barthel flip the script this time around?

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Petra Kvitova vs. Venus Williams, Indian Wells R2 Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R2 Preview
🇨🇿 (3) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇺🇸 Venus Williams

A blockbuster second round clash from the Californian desert sees the third seeded Petra Kvitova begin her BNP Paribas Open campaign against Venus Williams, a match-up that sees two multiple time Grand Slam champions collide. Kvitova received a bye through the opening round whilst Williams came through a scrappy 3 set match against Andrea Petkovic.

Venus Williams of the United States in action during her first-round match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova is arguably the most consistent player on the WTA tour at the moment, which is a huge improvement for Kvitova who has typically been a very streaky player. Kvitova made a fantastic start to the season by winning the title in Sydney before reaching the final of the Australian Open. More recently Kvitova made to the final in Dubai where she succumbed to Belinda Bencic. Kvitova will be keen to maintain her momentum this week in Indian Wells, albeit at an event she has struggled at in the past.

The pressure is on Venus Williams this week. Williams is defending semi-finalist points from her run to the last 4 in 2018, a big chink of her current ranking points are therefore on the line this week. Williams was unconvincing in her opening round match, she came through a topsy-turvy 3 set match against Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, eventually claiming a 6-4 0-6 6-3 victory despite seemingly struggling with an illness or injury.

Kvitova holds a 4-2 head-to-head record over Williams. However, it was Venus who was triumphant in their most recent match, a memorable 6-3 3-6 7-6 win at the quarter-final stage of the 2017 US Open. Much has changed since their last match, the careers of the pair have generally gone in opposite directions with Venus fading and Kvitova clawing her way to the top, will this match reflect those moves?

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Venus Williams vs. Andrea Petkovic, Indian Wells R1 Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R1 Preview
🇺🇸 Venus Williams vs. 🇩🇪 Andrea Petkovic

Venus Williams and Andrea Petkovic will go head-to-head in what is arguably the pick of the opening round matches at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open. The results have trailed off for Williams and Petkovic in recent times meaning this is a vital clash for both, a potentially significant win for the victor.

Venus Williams of the United States in action at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

The pressure is on Venus Williams in Indian Wells. Williams reached the semi-finals in the Californian desert last year and can therefore ill afford an early round exit at this years event or her already depleted ranking of 36 will drop quite dramatically. Williams has made a decent start to the year, but she has only played two events and has not played sine her third round loss to Simona Halep at the Australian Open so it is hard to know where she is at right now.

Andrea Petkovic has made a disappointing start to the season, the game has seemingly gone past the German and her best years are certainly over. Petkovic has lost 4 of her last 6 matches including a straight set loss to Anastasia Potapova at the second round stage in Budapest in her most recent match a few weeks ago.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 2 wins apiece. It was Petkovic who won their most recent match, a 6-1 3-6 7-5 victory in Stanford back in 2014.

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Venus Williams vs. Kiki Bertens, Wimbledon R3 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R3 Preview
🇺🇸 (9) Venus Williams vs. 🇳🇱 (20) Kiki Bertens

The 9th seeded Venus Williams continues her quest for a 6th Wimbledon title on Friday with a third round clash against the 20th seeded Kiki Bertens. Venus has not been at her sharpest through her first couple of matches this week, the 38-year-old was required to come from a set down in each of her previous matches and will be aiming for a more commanding performance as the competition heats up.

Venus Williams of the United States in action during the second round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Venus Williams has claimed two very similar victories on route to the third round at SW19. A 6-7 6-2 6-1 win over Johanna Larsson followed by a 4-6 6-0 6-1 win against Alexandra Dulgheru. Venus was able to get away with a slow start in her first few matches but that is unlikely to be the case against Bertens, expect Venus to come out firing with a spot in the second week up for grabs.

Kiki Bertens claimed back-to-back comfortable victories on route to the third round stage at SW19. Bertens started her campaign with a 6-3 6-2 win over Barbora Stefkova before defeating Anna Blinkova 6-4 6-0. This is the second time Bertens has made it to the third round at Wimbledon, the 26-year-old will be playing to reach the fourth round for the first time, Bertens as only previously made it to the second week at a Grand Slam at Roland Garros.

The only previous match between the pair was a dramatic one, a 5-7 6-3 7-5 victory for Venus Williams. Venus was up 5-0 in the opening set before dropping 7 consecutive games. Each set was topsy-turvy, Bertens in a match winning position when she led by a break in the deciding set.

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Venus Williams vs. Alexandra Dulgheru, Wimbledon R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R2 Preview
🇺🇸 (9) Venus Williams vs. 🇷🇴 (Q) Alexandra Dulgheru

Venus Williams and Alexandra Dulgheru will go head-to-head for the very first time when they meet at the second round stage at SW19 on Wednesday. Williams survived an opening round scare, coming from a set down to defeat Johanna Larsson. The 5-time former champion at Wimbledon will be hoping for a more straightforward victory against the Romanian qualifier.

Venus Williams of the United States in action during the first round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Venus Williams has always played her best tennis at Wimbledon and has threatened to add a 6th title to her collection over the last couple of years. A semi-final appearance in 2016 followed by a runner-up showing in 2017, Venus will be hoping to go a step better in 2018. The American’s 2018 campaign did however get off to a rocky start, a 5-7 6-1 6-1 win over Johanna Larsson. After dropping a tight opening set, Venus got the match on her terms in the second and third and was untroubled in the end.

Alexandra Dulgheru has already won 4 match to reach this stage having fought her way through the qualifying draw. The Romanian claimed a couple of tough 3 set wins to book her spot in the main draw, a gutsy 5-7 7-6 6-0 win over Tamara Zidansek sealed her main draw birth. Dulgheru went on to claim her first main draw win at Wimbledon since 2011 with a 6-4 1-6 6-2 win over Kristyna Pliskova, one of her best wins in recent times.

Given both have been on the tour for over a decade it is surprising that this will be the first tour level meeting between the pair, how will the match-up unfold?

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Petra Martic vs. Qiang Wang, Roland Garros R2 Preview

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.

Wang Qiang of China in action during her first-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

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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Venus Williams vs Daria Kasatkina, Indian Wells SF Preview

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.

Venus Williams of the United States in action at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

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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