Beijing R3: (Q) Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs (15) Roberta Vinci
An intriguing third round clash at the China Open on Thursday sees two rejuvenated veterans of the tour go head-to-head: Bethanie Mattek Sands and U.S Open finalist Roberta Vinci. Bethanie and Roberta are both playing some of their best tennis at the moment, a significant achievement considering they are both in their 30’s. Both ladies will see this match as a major opportunity to keep their winning momentum going as a long season comes to an end.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands has won 6 of her last 7 matches and has picked up notable victories over Ana Ivanovic, CoCo Vandeweghe and Alize Cornet in the last couple of months. The American was forced to fight for her main draw position through the qualifying draw, Bethanie just snuck through, defeating Lucie Hradecka in a tight final set tiebreaker to advance to the main draw. The American secured her spot in the third round at the China Open with victories over Alize Cornet and Lara Arruabarrena, the score in Bethanie’s second round win over Arruabarrena was bizarre, a 0-6 6-2 6-0 victory for Mattek-Sands.
Roberta Vinci has continued her stunning form which saw reach her first Grand Slam in New York last month. The Italian has now won 16 of her last 19 matches, including her run to the U.S Open final where she defeated Serena Williams and a semi-final showing last week in Wuhan where the Italian picked up notable victories over Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova. Vinci still has a slim chance to qualify for the WTA Finals, she will need a victory here to keep her chances alive. After receiving a performance bye through to the second round, Roberta Vinci started her China Open campaign with a comprehensive 6-2 6-2 victory over Alison Van Uytvank. The draw has been very kind to the Italian in Beijing.
Roberta Vinci holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Roberta has won the three most recent encounters between the pair including a 6-4 5-7 6-3 win in their most recent encounter which took place in Toronto two years ago.
This is an exciting match-up between two ladies with unconventional and quite contrasting styles. Roberta Vinci’s recent form has been outstanding but I feel like she is due for an unexpected loss, this looms as a potential danger match for the Italian. Mattek-Sands is capable of playing excellent tennis and I don’t think she will be too worried or thrown off by the Italian’s game.