Angelique Kerber vs Mona Barthel, Dubai R2 Preview

?? Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R2 Preview:
?? (1) Angelique Kerber vs ?? (wc) Mona Barthel

Angelique Kerber will look to get her season back on track in Dubai after another disappointing early round exit in Doha last week. Kerber started the season as the world number 1 with the tennis world watching to see how she will handle the new pressures and expectations placed on her this season. Unfortunately, the answer has been that she has been unable to deal with it, amassing a modest 4-4 win/loss record to start 2017. Kerber should be desperate to avoid an upset loss to compatriot Mona Barthel in second round action on Tuesday in Dubai. Kerber could regain her number 1 ranking if she was to win the tournament this week.

2017 has not been a good year for Angelique Kerber, the German has been a shadow of the player that dominated the tour in 2016. Kerber does not seem to have the same desire and intensity on court this year and without that desire and intensity she is not the same player. Kerber needs to recapture a greater level of determination, starting this week in Dubai, a quick surface that should suit Kerber.

Mona Barthel has made a good start to the season, most notably she came through the qualifying draw to reach the fourth round stage at the Australian Open. Mona does however arrive in Dubai on the back of a disappointing loss to Kristyna Pliskova in the first round of qualifying last week. This is another good opportunity for Barthel to test herself against a top player, she has nothing to lose in this match.

The head-to-head record between Kerber and Barthel is split at 2 wins apiece. The most recent match between the pair was back in 2013 on the clay of Roland Garros where Kerber prevailed 7-6 6-2.

This is a very important match for Kerber, she needs to gain some momentum before her form slump becomes even tougher to reverse. On this court, I think this is a good match-up for Kerber who will enjoy redirecting the shots of Barthel and should outlast Barthel in most rallies. It’s all about intensity for Kerber, if she brings it to the court, she is too good for Barthel.

Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Mona Barthel in 2 sets

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