Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Yulia Putintseva, Doha R1 Preview

Qatar Total Open, Doha R1 Preview + prediction:
?? Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. ?? Yulia Putintseva

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Yulia Putintseva will go head-to-head for the first time in over 3 years when they meet at the opening round stage of the 2020 Qatar Total Open. It is Pavlyuchenkova who will head into this clash as the strong favourite. Pavlyuchenkova has made a stronger start to the season, the Russian notably reached the final 8 at the Australian Open and has also won the only 2 previous meetings between the pair.

Pavlyuchenkova arrives in Doha fresh from a second round exit in Dubai. Pavlyuchenkova made a miracle comeback in her opening round match, the Russian dropped the first 19 points to Belinda Bencic but flipped the script to claim a memorable 1-6 6-1 6-1 victory over the fourth seed. Unfortunately, Pavlyuchenkova was unable to keep her run going in Dubai, beaten by Anett Kontaveit 6-7 5-7 despite being up a break of serve in each set.

Yulia Putintseva had made a decent start to her 2020 campaign. Putintseva claimed a few good wins at the Australian Open over Su-Wei Hsieh and Danielle Collins before succumbing to Simona Halep in straight sets. Putintseva arrives in Doha fresh from a week off after her disappointing opening round exit in St. Petersburg to Veronika Kudermetova in 3 sets.

Pavlyuchenkova holds a perfect 2-0 record over Putintseva. Both of the previous matches between the two took place in 2016, a 7-5 6-1 victory for Pavlyuchenkova at Wimbledon followed by a 6-4 1-6 7-5 win at the Rogers Cup.

I’m going to side pretty confidently with Pavlyuchenkova. It is Pavlyuchenkova who has made the brighter start to the year and who is favoured by the conditions and match-up. Pavlyuchenkova is more dangerous on a hard court and should be too powerful for Putintseva. Pavlyuchenkova’s strong baseline game will cause Putintseva all types of problems, especially the Russian’s aggressive return of serve which will expose Putintseva’s weak serve. Once Pavlyuchenkova gets in a big first strike it will be hard for Putintseva to recover in the rally on this surface. Pavlyuchenkova should win this easily.

Prediction: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to defeat Yulia Putintseva in 2 sets
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Belinda Bencic vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Dubai R1 Preview

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R1 Preview
?? (4) Belinda Bencic vs. ?? Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

The fourth seeded Belinda Bencic begins her 2020 Dubai campaign on Tuesday with a tough opening round match-up against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Bencic, the defending champion in Dubai, has dominated this match-up in the past, but it is Pavlyuchenkova who enters this match with the better form having reached the Australian Open quarter-finals just a few weeks ago.

Belinda Bencic has made an average start to her 2020 campaign but enters Dubai at a career high ranking of 4 in the world. Bencic arrives in Dubai on the back of a disappointing second round loss to Maria Sakkari at the quarter-final stage in St. Petersburg. Bencic has a modest 5-4 win/loss record in 2020 and is under pressure this week as the defending champion.

Pavlyuchenkova has made a strong start to the 2020 season thanks to reaching the final 8 at the Australian Open for the second year in a row. In 2019 Pavlyuchenkova was unable to build on her strong start to the year, the Russian will be hoping to avoid a similar fate in 2020, starting with a good run in Dubai.

Bencic holds a commanding 5-1 head-to-head record over Pavlyuchenkova. Bencic has won the last 4 matches between the pair, including a 3-6 6-1 6-1 victory in the Moscow final last year. Interestingly it was Pavlyuchenkova who won their only previous match on an outdoor hard court, a 6-2 6-4 win in Washington back in 2015.

I’m going to side with Pavlyuchenkova here. Bencic has consistently played average tennis in 2020 and seems to be lacking confidence at the moment. Conversely, Pavlyuchenkova enters this match rested after a great run in Melbourne. The pressure is on Bencic here given her strong record over Pavlyuchenkova and given she is the defending champion this week. The scene is set for Pavlyuchenkova to overpower Bencic.

Prediction: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to defeat Belinda Bencic in 3 sets
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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Garbine Muguruza, Australian Open QF Preview

?? Australian Open, QF preview + prediction:
?? (30) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. ?? Garbine Muguruza

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Garbine Muguruza will go head-to-head with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs at the 2020 Australian Open. Not many would have expected Pavlyuchenkova or Muguruza to be featuring at this stage of the tournament, but both have been playing exceptional tennis and will head into this quarter-final clash full of confidence. Who will emerge victorious?

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will be competing at the quarter-final stage in Melbourne for the second consecutive year and for the third time out of the last 4 years. This will be Pavlyuchenkova’s 6th quarter-final appearance at a Grand Slam but the Russian has never made it to the semi-finals of a major, perhaps it will be 6th time lucky?

Pavlyuchenkova moved through the first week of the event without dropping a set. The 30th seed started the event with a 6/1 7/5 win over Nina Stojanovic before battling past Taylor Townsend 7/5 7/6. Pavlyuchenkova made her biggest move at the third round stage where she eliminated the second seeded Karolina Pliskova thanks to a 7/6 7/6 triumph. The Russian booked her spot in the final 8 with a hard-fought 6/7 7/6 6/2 win over the 17th seeded Angelique Kerber.

Garbine Muguruza is playing the best tennis she has played in years to reach the final 8 at Melbourne Park for the second time in her career. The 2-time former Grand Slam champion was rusty in her first couple of matches of the event, requiring 3 sets on both occasions, a 0/6 6/1 6/0 win over Shelby Rogers followed by a 6/3 3/6 6/3 win over Ajla Tomljanovic. Muguruza seriously picked up her level to advance to the final 8 with back-to-back wins over top 10 opponents, a 6/1 6/2 smashing of the 5th seeded Elina Svitolina before beating the 9th seeded Kiki Bertens 6/3 6/3. Muguruza’s level over the last few matches has been reminiscent of the form that saw her become a major champion.

Muguruza has won both of the completed matches between the pair, both in straight sets. A 7/5 6/1 win in Cincinnati in 2016 followed by a 6/1 6/2 in Birmingham in 2018. Expect Pavlyuchenkova to be far more competitive on this occasion.

I’m going to go for the upset here and side with Pavlyuchenkova. This is a tough match to call, both players head into this clash in great form and both play a very similar game. Pavlyuchenkova and Muguruza both command the court with their strong groundstrokes, both are efficient at moving up the court to finish points. It will come down to who can execute better on the day, I believe it is time for Pavlyuchenkova to take the next step, with Muguruza’s ex-coach by her side I think an in-form Pavlyuchenkova will come up with a plan to undo the Spaniard.

Prediction: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to defeat Garbine Muguruza in 3 sets
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Monica Puig vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Australian Open R1 Preview

?? Australian Open, R1 Preview
?? Monica Puig vs. ?? Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Monica Puig and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova loomed as two of the most dangerous unseeded players heading into the Australian Open main draw, the pair will go head-to-head in what should be a fierce opening round clash. Puig and Pavlyuchenkova are both extremely dangerous at their best but both are very inconsistent, which of the two will pull it together in Melbourne?

Monica Puig of Puerto Rico in action during her second-round match at the 2019 Sydney International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Puig and Pavlyuchenkova have both made fairly disappointing starts to their respective seasons.

Monica Puig’s only 2 victories in 2019 have been against Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Puig was beaten in straight sets by Su-Wei Hsieh in the second round in Auckland, more recently Puig lost to Anett Kontaveit in 3 sets in the opening round of the Sydney International having secured a lucky-loser spot after a 1-6 0-6 demolition at the hands of Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova started her season in Shenzhen where she crushed Ana Bogdan in the first round before surprisingly succumbing to Veronika Kudermetova in the second round. Pavlyuchenkova also competed in Hobart last week where she was beaten in the opening round by Vera Lapko in 3 sets.

The only previous match between the pair took place during Monica Puig’s stunning gold medal run in Rio back in 2016, Puig won that match in straight sets.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Birmingham R1 Preview

?? Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham R1 Preview
?? (1) Garbine Muguruza vs. ?? Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

The top seeded Garbine Muguruza will begin her Birmingham campaign with a potentially tricky opening round clash against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. This will be Muguruza’s first match on grass since claiming her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last year, it will be interesting to see what type of form Muguruza starts the 2018 grass courts season with at the Nature Valley Classic.

Garbine Muguruza of action during the semi-final of the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Muguruza enters the grass court swing on the back of another deep run at Roland Garros. The Spaniard made it all the way to the semi-finals in Paris where she was beaten by Simona Halep in straight sets. It was in Birmingham last year that Muguruza started to gain momentum before her Wimbledon success with a semi-final showing. Muguruza did not grow up on grass but her powerful game has proven to be very dangerous on this surface, expect her to be contending for titles over the next month on the grass.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will be searching for her first victory in Birmingham since 2009, granted she has only played in Birmingham on a couple of occasions. Pavlyuchenkova showed signs of a form reversal in Strasbourg a few weeks ago where she won the title but went on to lose in the second round at Roland Garros against Sam Stosur, a straight set loss. The Russian has never really found her feet on grass, in 2017 she suffered a shock first round exit at Wimbledon against Arina Rodionova.

Muguruza holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Pavlyuchenkova. The Spaniard has won all of 3 of the completed matches between the pair, most recently a 7-5 6-1 win in Cincinnati. Pavlyuchenkova beat Muguruza earlier this year in Stuttgart courtesy of a Muguruza retirement after a close opening set.

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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Samantha Stosur, Roland Garros R2 Preview

Roland Garros, R2 Preview
?? (30) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. ?? Samantha Stosur

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Samantha Stosur will renew hostilities when they meet at the second round stage in Paris on Thursday. This is a tough early round draw, Pavlyuchenkova enters this match in great form having won the title in Strasbourg last week whilst Stosur has an outstanding record at Roland Garros and is always tough to beat in Paris.

Sam Stosur of Australia during the first-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

After a terrible start to the season Pavlyuchenkova has finally found some form. Pavlyuchenkova is on a 6-match winning streak after winning an epic 3 and a half hour final against Dominika Cibulkova in Strasbourg last week to claim her first title of the year. Pavlyuchenkova secured her spot in the second round in Paris with a hard-fought 6-4 7-6 victory over Polona Hercog.

Sam Stosur cruised into the second round in Paris with an easy 6-2 6-4 win over Yanina Wickmayer. Stosur was always in control of the match and despite a slight wobble in the second set it was a fairly convincing performance by the Aussie. Stosur has an outstanding 31-9 win/loss record at Roland Garros since 2009, consistently performing well at her favourite Grand Slam.

Pavlyuchenkova holds a 4-3 head-to-head record over Stosur. It was Stosur who won their most recent match, a 6-1 6-7 6-3 victory in Madrid earlier this year. Prior to that victory for Stosur it was the Russian who won 4 matches in a row over the Aussie.

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Ashleigh Barty vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Strasbourg SF Preview

?? Internationaux de Strasbourg, SF Preview
?? (1) Ashleigh Barty vs. ?? (3) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Top seeded Ash Barty will face her greatest test of the tournament thus far when she comes up against the third seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Friday’s second semi-final in Strasbourg. Barty and Pavlyuchenkova have both been relatively untroubled on route to the final 4, both are yet to drop a set this week and will now have their eyes firmly set on winning the title.

Barty started her Strasbourg campaign with comfortable straight set wins over Luksika Kumkhum and Pauline Parmentier. Barty was made to work harder for her 7-5 6-4 quarter-final win over Qiang Wang, Barty’s impressive serving and damaging forehand were ultimately too much for the solid Wang to handle.

Pavlyuchenkova is through to her first semi-final of 2018, it has taken her longer than expected to have some success but it has come at a good time with Roland Garros just around the corner. The Russian started the week with a 6-0 6-0 demolition of Tatjana Maria before defeating Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-4 6-4. Pavlyuchenkova confirmed her spot in the final 4 with a solid 6-4 6-2 win over Zarina Diyas.

Pavlyuchenkova holds a 2-1 H2H record over Barty. It was Barty who won their most recent match, 6-4 6-1 in Zhuhai late last year.

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Anett Kontaveit vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Stuttgart QF Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart QF Preview
?? Anett Kontaveit vs. ?? Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

A huge opportunity presents itself to Anett Kontaveit and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova when they meet at the quarter-final stage of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Friday. This is an interesting encounter between two players that have struggled in recent times, suddenly they find themselves with an opportunity to reach the semi-final stage of a big premier level event. Who will step up and make the most this opportunity?

Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in action at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Both Kontaveit and Pavlyuchenkova received a stroke of luck in their second round matches in Stuttgart yesterday as both benefited from the retirement of their more fancied opposition. Kontaveit raced to a 6-0 2-0 lead before Angelique Kerber was forced to retire whilst Pavlyuchenkova won a right opening set 7-5 over Garbine Muguruza before the Spaniard retired.

Both claimed meaningful victories in the opening round. Kontaveit snapped a 4-match losing streak to beat Kristina Mladenovic 5-7 7-6 7-6 whilst Pavlyuchenkova claimed her biggest win of the year as she beat Madison Keys 7-6 5-7 6-4.

The H2H record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Kontaveit upset Pavlyuchenkova at the second round stage of the U.S Open in 2015, a 7-5 6-4 win. More recently it was Pavlyuchenkova who beat the Estonian 6-4 6-4 at Indian Wells last year.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Stuttgart R2 Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart R2 Preview
?? (2) Garbine Muguruza vs. ?? Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

The pick of the second round matches on Thursday from the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix sees the second seeded Garbine Muguruza kick-start her Stuttgart campaign with a potentially difficult clash against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Garbine Muguruza arrives in Stuttgart on a high having helped guide Spain to a 3-0 victory over Paraguay in their Fed Cup world group 2 playoff and having won the title in Monterrey prior to that. Muguruza also holds a 3-0 H2H record over Pavlyuchenkova, all signs seemingly point to a Muguruza win.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in action at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Muguruza seems to finally be working her way into form in 2018. It was in Monterrey where Muguruza committed to building her confidence at the International level, dropping just 1 set on route to the title. More recently Muguruza was involved in Spain’s Fed Cup world group 2 playoff victory over Paraguay. The reigning Wimbledon champion was surprisingly pushed all the way in her first match with Montserrat Gonzalez before claiming a straight set win over Veronica Cepede Royg to end the tie. Muguruza will be hoping to continue to build momentum in Stuttgart as she seeks to add some more big title to her trophy cabinet.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova had made a horror start to 2018 but there have been some good signs for the Russian of late. Pavlyuchenkova had a good victory over Anastasija Sevastova during Russia’s Fed Cup world group 2 playoff defeat at the hands of Latvia on the weekend. Pavlyuchenkova started her Stuttgart campaign with a critical 7-6 5-7 6-4 win over Madison Keys, her biggest win of the season to date. Pavlyuchenkova looked to be heading for a straight set win for most of the match but did well to regroup in the third set and finally clinch victory in a match that lasted over 3 hours.

It is Muguruza who enters this match with a 3-0 H2H advantage. The most recent match between the pair was in Cincinnati in 2016, a 7-5 6-1 win for Muguruza. This will be their first career meeting on clay.

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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs CoCo Vandeweghe, Stanford QF Preview

#BOTWClassic, ??? Stanford QF Preview + Prediction
(4) ?? Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs (6) ?? CoCo Vandeweghe

The second quarter-final of the day at the Bank of the West Classic on Friday sees the 4th seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova come up against the 6th seeded CoCo Vandeweghe. Pavlyuchenkova and Vandeweghe both breezed into the final 8 with convincing second round wins on Thursday in Stanford, both will enter the quarter-final stage full of confidence. The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece heading into this match, it seems hard to split these two heading into what should be a very even, hard-fought clash.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in action during her her second round match at the 2017 Bank of the West Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

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