Caroline Wozniacki vs Barbora Strycova, Sydney QF Preview

Apia International, Sydney Quarter-Final #3
(10) Caroline Wozniacki vs Barbora Strycova

Caroline Wozniacki and Barbora Strycova will meet on the seventh occasion when they collide at the quarter-final stage of the Apia International in Sydney. This is always an interesting match-up between two ladies that give very little away, it will be tough to win a points out there. Wozniacki and Strycova both enter this match in good form and will see this match as a very winnable one.

Wozniacki had a reasonable week in Auckland in week 1 of the season, reaching the quarter-finals before being blasted off the court by Julia Goerges. The Dane almost faced a similar fate in her opening round match in Sydney when Monica Puig played a sublime second set to send the match into a decider. However, on this occasion Wozniacki was able to weather the storm and get past Puig in the final set where the Dane did not drop her serve. Wozniacki confirmed her spot in the quarter-finals with a 6-0 7-5 win over Putintseva. The match almost followed a similar path to last year’s Australian Open match where Wozniacki won the first set before being forced to a decider (where she would go on to lose), but on this occasion Wozniacki maintained her cool to close the match in straight sets.

Barbora Strycova seems to be playing with a new sense of confidence in 2017, this may be attributed to her heroics in the Fed Cup final late last year which guided the Czech Republic to victory over France. Strycova has claimed two impressive straight set victories in Sydney over tough opponents. Starting with a 6-3 7-5 win over Ekaterina Makarova, followed by a commanding 6-2 6-3 win over Roberta Vinci. Strycova also reached the quarter-finals in Auckland last week.

Wozniacki holds a 4-2 head-to-head record over Strycova. However, Strycova has won their last two meetings (one was via a retirement). Strycova’s notable win over Wozniacki was a straight set win at Wimbledon in 2014. Wozniacki has won both of the completed matches between the pair on a hard court. Wozniacki should once again get the better of Strycova. Wozniacki is more consistent and will probably be better able to deal with the tough conditions in Sydney if the match goes the distance (which it probably will). Wozniacki’s superior fitness and concentration levels could be a big factor. 

Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki to defeat Barbora Strycova in 3 sets


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