Angelique Kerber vs Eugenie Bouchard, Madrid R3 Preview

?? Mutua Madrid Open, R3 Preview
(1) ?? Angelique Kerber vs ?? Eugenie Bouchard

Eugenie Bouchard produced one of her best performances in the last couple of years to come past Maria Sharapova in an epic second round encounter in Madrid. There was a huge amount of hype surrounding Bouchard’s showdown with Sharapova and it delivered, Bouchard won a marathon match 7-5 2-6 6-4, a match that lasted just under three hours. Things will not get any easier for Bouchard, the Canadian faces the top seeded Angelique Kerber in the third round on Wednesday.

Angelique Kerber has already secured the world number 1 ranking come next week. The German started her Madrid campaign with a 6-4 6-2 win over Timea Babos, her first win in Madrid since 2013. Kerber came through an extremely tough second round match, beating Katerina Siniakova 6-2 1-6 7-5. Kerber was a break down midway through the deciding set but showed her typical fighting qualities to outlast Siniakova.

Interestingly, Bouchard holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Kerber. It was the German who won their most recent match, a comfortable 6-4 6-2 win at the Rio Olympics last year. Prior to that win, Bouchard had won three in a row over Kerber, including a memorable three set win on clay in Rome last year. Bouchard has won the two previous matches between the pair on clay. Nevertheless, Kerber enters this match as a strong favourite.

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I suspect Kerber will be too solid for Bouchard on this occasion. Bouchard showed glimpses of her best in her win over Sharapova, however her ability to back up that performance is very questionable given her recent struggles. Kerber will deliver, the German is always tough to beat, Kerber will probably be too consistent for Bouchard. No doubt Kerber will be extra motivated heading into this match and on alert given her past struggles against Bouchard, expect Kerber to come out firing.

Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Eugenie Bouchard in 2 sets

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