Angelique Kerber vs Saisai Zheng, Doha R2 Preview

Doha R2: (1) Angelique Kerber vs Saisai Zheng

Angelique Kerber will be competing in her first WTA tournament since she stunned the tennis world by claiming her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open title in January. The German is the top seed this week in Doha and after receiving a bye into the second round will face Chinese world number 72 Saisai Zheng. This will be the first ever meeting between the pair and should be a good match-up for Angie. 

Entering a major WTA tournament as the top seed and a newly crowned Grand Slam champion will be a totally new experience for Angelique Kerber and will likely to be a factor for the German this week in Doha. Kerber’s life has certainly changed, there will be far more attention on Angie from now on. Angie obviously couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the season, defeating both Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams on route to her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. If Angie can emulate that form she will be a major contender at the remaining Grand Slam events in 2016 and will be hard to stop this week at the Qatar Total Open.

 

Saisai Zheng brings decent form into her second round clash with Angelique Kerber. Zheng is fresh off a decent week in Dubai where she came through the qualifying draw to reach the second round before succumbing to the eventual champion Sara Errani. Zheng advanced to the second round in Doha courtesy of a 6-2 7-6 victory over Varvara Lepchenko, her second victory over the American in as many weeks.

This will be the first ever clash between Kerber and Zheng. I suspect Angie will be reasonably comfortable in this match-up. Zheng isn’t a particularly aggressively minded players and doesn’t have any serious weapons that can puncture holes in the game of the German. Angie will be able to dictate play and should make a good start to her Doha campaign with a reasonably easy win.

Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Saisai Zheng in 2 sets


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0 responses to “Angelique Kerber vs Saisai Zheng, Doha R2 Preview”

  1. Zheng is a very skilled doubles player – she already has three doubles titles added to her name. But, Kerber needs to be careful about this match-up, as she has already lost to some players, who are very good in doubles. She already lost to Garbiñe Muguruza four times last year, and Belinda Bencic three times in their head-to-head meetings, which Bencic leads 3-0. I’m thinking maybe Kerber does have her game-plan cut out for her now. But, the question is – can she keep her momentum going like she did when she won the Australian Open last month? I feel like Kerber is very much under pressure, because lots of people will expect her to win the title in Doha right after winning the Australian Open. One big factor is that Kerber needs to change is her serve. Despite averaging a high percentage of first serves in, the number of double faults that Kerber has served seems to have fluctuated. I feel like if she cuts down on the double faults, she’ll be able to win against Zheng in two sets. But, I’d rather not make any predictions right now as I think this match can go either way.

    • Yes It is true that Kerber is playing with an new added pressure after winning the Australian Open and it will be very tough for her to produce the same kind of tennis as she did in Melbourne in Doha. However, in this particular match-up she doesn’t need to be playing at her best or even near her best to get the win. Zheng usually really struggles against high quality opponents

  2. Well, Zheng did beat Kvitova via retirement in Shenzhen earlier this year, so she technically has beaten a top 10 player already. My guess is that even if Zheng loses this match, she’ll still put up a good fight against Kerber.

    • Yes I agree that she will put up a good fight, there will probably be a lot of good rallies but whether that means the match will be close on the scoreboard I’m not sure.. we will see

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