Angelique Kerber vs CoCo Vandeweghe, Australian Open R4 Preview

Australian Open, ??? Fourth Round Match Preview
(1) ?? Angelique Kerber vs ?? CoCo Vandeweghe

Angelique Kerber’s title defense is still alive at the Australian Open. The German’s level has been fairly unconvincing throughout the first week at Melbourne Park but no harm has been done as she has been able to navigate her way into the second week. The world number 1 will face her toughest test thus far on Sunday when she comes up against a fired-up and in form CoCo Vandeweghe on Rod Laver Arena. The American has all the weapons to hurt Kerber, this looms as a real danger match for the defending champion, especially if she unable to raise her current level of tennis.

Angelique Kerber is into the second week in Melbourne for the fourth time in her career. Kerber is yet to find the form that saw her claim her first Grand Slam title at this very event 12 months ago. The world number 1 was erratic and clearly nervy in her first two matches where she was forced to win in three sets against Lesia Tsurenko and Carina Witthoeft. Kerber claimed a more straightforward win in the third round, a 6-0 6-4 win over Kristyna Pliskova, The scoreboard looked comfortable, but Kerber was still far from her best against Pliskova, the Czech was just not good enough to take advantage. Kerber’s next opponent will be good enough to take advantage of a tentative Kerber, an in-form CoCo Vandeweghe.

CoCo Vandeweghe has made it through to the fourth round in Melbourne for the very first time. The American is playing with a bold sense of confidence and an aggressive mindset, a formula that is working well. Vandeweghe started the tournament with straight set wins over Roberta Vinci and Pauline Parmentier before ousting Eugenie Bouchard courtesy of a 6-4 3-6 7-5 triumph. Vandeweghe was down a break for the majority of the final set and seemed destined to be eliminated, however the American kept fighting and ultimately overpowered the Canadian to claim an impressive win.

 

Angelique Kerber holds a 2-0 head-to-head record over CoCo Vandeweghe. Their only completed match saw Kerber win 7-6 0-6 6-1 in Stanford back in 2014. The pair also met in 2015 at the Wuhan Open where Kerber comfortably won the first set before the American retired.

This promises to be a very hard-fought, entertaining match between two very different types of players. Vandeweghe has far more power on her serve and her groundstrokes but Kerber is a far better defender, has better movement and has clearly been more consistent in recent times. Vandeweghe heads into this match with the better form and seems to be playing with more confidence than her German opponent. If Vandeweghe can bring her A-game to the court I think she has a great chance. Kerber’s tentative play will not hold up against Vandeweghe, I think the American is playing well enough to cause an upset here.

Prediction: CoCo Vandeweghe to defeat Angelique Kerber in 3 sets


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