Sabine Lisicki vs Barbora Strycova, Toronto R2 Preview

Toronto R2: Sabine Lisicki vs Barbora Strycova

Sabine Lisicki will come up against Barbora Strycova on Wednesday in Toronto, a fascinating second round matchup between two contrasting styles.

Sabine Lisicki booked her spot in the second round with a crushing 6-0 6-3 victory over Venus Williams. The German made a horror start to her U.S Open series in Stanford where she blew a 6-1 3-1 lead against Kimiko Date-Krumm. Sabine had no such problems in her opening round match in Toronto, Sabine was solid from start to finish, serving well and punishing the American’s weak second serve. It’s important for Sabine to back up her first round performance on Wednesday when she comes up against Barbora Strycova.


Barbora Strycova also made an impressive start to her Rogers Cup campaign. Strycova comprehensively defeated Varvara Lepchenko 6-2 6-4. A solid result given the American played great tennis last week where she reached the semi-finals in Stanford.

Strycova won the only previous encounter between the pair, a hard fought 7-5 6-4 victory in Doha earlier this year. This is a tough match to call, Strycova has an awkward game which can easily disrupt the German, however Sabine does have the game to blow Strycova off the court. I think Strycova will be clever enough to prevail in this one.

Prediction: Barbora Strycova to defeat Sabine Lisicki in 3 sets

Barbora Strycova vs Sloane Stephens, Wimbledon R1 Preview

(27) Barbora Strycova vs Sloane Stephens

An intriguing first round matchup sees two former quarter-finalists go head to head, 2014 quarterfinalist: Barbora Strycova and 2013 quarter-finalist: Sloane Stephens. This is a very unfortunate first round matchup for these two, a first round loss would be extremely disappointing for both.

Barbora Strycova had a breakout year in 2014, however she has failed to maintain that form in season 2015. Strycova has suffered numerous opening round losses this year, including at Roland Garros. The Czech will be hoping for a reversal of form on grass, a surface her game is well suited to.

Strycova achieved her greatest ever Grand Slam result at Wimbledon last year, defeating Li Na and Caroline Wozniacki on route to her first Grand Slam quarter-final where she was defeated by eventual champion: Petra Kvitova.


Strycova’s lead up to Wimbledon has been less than ideal, however she has got a fair few matches under her belt on the grass. Strycova reached the third round in Birmingham before succumbing to Kristina Mladenovic and suffered a disappointing second round loss in Eastbourne, upset by Sara Errani in an extremely tight match.

Sloane Stephens’ lead up to Wimbledon has been far greater. The American reached her first premier level semifinal of the year in Eastbourne, defeating Carla Suarez Navarro and Heather Watson in straight sets on route to the final four. Sloane was eliminated at the semifinal stage by Agnieszka Radwanska, however there were still a number of positives to take out that match for Sloane, she competed well and was able to raise her level throughout the match but it wasn’t enough in the end.

Sloane’s results haven’t been the best this year, however a lot of that can be attributed to the tough draws she has been dealt. Stephens has twice been beaten by Serena Williams, and has suffered losses to Victoria Azarenka and Simona Halep, all in big events. Stephens has generally beaten the players ranked around her.


These two have met on two previous occasions, the head to head record is currently split at one win apiece. It was Sloane Stephens who emerged victorious in their only recent encounter, prevailing 7-5 6-1 in Cincinnati last year.

Sloane Stephens will enter this match as the favourite given her recent form, the American consistently performs well at the Grand Slam level and will be desperate to avoid a second opening round loss at a Grand Slam this year. Sloane’s extra firepower and greater form will give her the edge in this one.

Prediction: Sloane Stephens to defeat Barbora Strycova in 3 sets

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova vs Andrea Petkovic, Antwerp SF Preview

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova vs (3) Andrea Petkovic

Saturday’s second semifinal in Antwerp sees surprise semifinalist: Barbora Zahlavova Strycova take on Andrea Petkovic for a spot in sundays final at the BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games.

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova has sailed through the draw in Antwerp, winning all three of her matches in straight sets. Strycova has dropped just 14 games in 6 sets and will come into this semi-final full of confidence. Strycova dismantled a wayward Alize Cornet 6-4 6-2 in the second round before thumping Mona Barthel 6-2 6-2 in the quarter-finals.

The slow indoor conditions seem to be playing into the hands of the crafty Czech, who will certainly fancy her chances on Saturday when she comes up against Andrea Petkovic.


Andrea Petkovic’s stunning form continued on Friday as she defeated Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 6-0. After saving eight match points in her second round victory over Alison Van Uytvanck, the German really has nothing to lose. Petkovic made the most of her second chance with a solid victory over Domi.

Petkovic squandered eight set points in the opening set before finally closing out the set in a first set tiebreaker. Domi then called a medical timeout at the end of the opening set to have her ankle strapped, the Slovak never recovered. Domi’s movement was clearly hampered in the second set as her resistance wavered, Petko took full advantage to cruise into the semifinals.


Petko has a 2-1 head to head record over Strycova. The German has won their two most recent encounters, both in straight sets. Their last meeting took place in Linz back in 2012, Petkovic prevailing 7-6 6-2.

Petkovic has had an incredible week, two marathon victories in the Fed Cup and now reaching the semifinals in Antwerp. Petko showed no signs of fatigue in her victory over Domi however Strycova is bound to be the fresher of the two and that could be the biggest difference in such a close matchup. Strycova has played so well this week and I fancy she will continue her good run on Saturday with a hard fought victory over the German.

Prediction: Barbora Strycova to defeat Andrea Petkovic in 3 sets

2015 Australian Open: Top 10 Matches

10. Third Round: Madison Keys def. (4) Petra Kvitova 6-4 7-5

A much anticipated breakthrough victory for Madison Keys. Showing maturity and composure beyond her years to defeat Petra Kvitova in two tight sets.

9. Third Round: Victoria Azarenka def. (25) Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-4 6-4

This match wasn’t high in quality however it was high in entertainment and drama.

8. Third Round: (18) Venus Williams def. Camila Giorgi 4-6 7-6 6-1

Venus Williams produced a stunning fightback from a set and a break down to defeat Giorgi in an entertaining slugfest.

7. Second Round: Victoria Azarenka def. (8) Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-2

This match was much closer than the scoreline suggests. Vika’s performance in this match was awesome, she played her best tennis in over a year to condemn Caroline to a second round exit.

6. Fourth Round: (1) Serena Williams def. (24) Garbine Muguruza 2-6 6-3 6-2

A feisty encounter ending with revenge . Serena avenging her humiliating second round defeat to Garbine Muguruza at Roland Garros in 2014 with an extremely hard fought victory on Rod Laver Arena.

5. First Round: Yaroslava Shvedova def. (16) Lucie Safarova 6-4 2-6 8-6

Out on show Court 3, a select few were treated to an enthralling contest. Shvedova played incredibly well to upset an in form Lucie Safarova in the opening round of the tournament.

4. First Round: (Q) Lucie Hradecka def. (5) Ana Ivanovic 1-6 6-3 6-2

This was the upset of the tournament. Ana Ivanovic knocked out of the tournament in the first round by a journeywoman qualifier on Rod Laver Arena.

Ana Ivanovic vs Lucie Hradecka Australian Open… by mglovestennis

3. Second Round: (2) Maria Sharapova def. (Q) Alexandra Panova 6-1 4-6 7-5

we almost saw the upset of the tournament here, the unheralded russian qualifier had two match points to defeat the Russian megastar. Maria came up with some outrageous play when down match point to fight her way to victory.

2. Final: (1) Serena Williams def. Maria Sharapova 6-3 7-6

The second set in this match was the best set of the tournament. The set was played at an incredible intensity, a level that can only be achieved when these two ultimate competitors do battle.

Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova Australian… by mglovestennis

1. Fourth round: (11) Dominika Cibulkova def. Victoria Azarenka 6-2 3-6 6-3

In terms of sustained quality, this was the best match of tournament. These two warriors went toe to toe from the baseline, the majority of the rallies ended in winners. Domi finished the match with 44 winners in what was a truly fantastic performance.

Agree? Disagree? What was your favaourite match of the tournament? Let me know in the comments section 🙂

Victoria Azarenka vs Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Australian Open R3 Preview

Victoria Azarenka vs (25) Barbora Zahlavova Strycova

After a stunning victory over Caroline Wozniacki in the second round, Vika faces Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the third round.

Vika produced her best performance in the last 12 months to comprehensively defeat Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-2. Vika was in control of play from start to finish, dictating play from the centre of the court, pushing Wozniacki back behind the baseline.
Wozniacki didn’t play poorly, Vika was just too good. The belarusian denied Wozniacki time, putting the Dane in uncomfortable positions. It’s great to see Vika back playing well, it is clear that she is serious contender in Melbourne this year.


Barbora Zahlavova Strycova survived a slight scare in her 6-1 7-5 second round victory over Kai-Chen Chang. Strycova cruised through the opening set however as the match progressed conditions deteriorated at Melbourne Park.

Strycova became extremely frustrated late in the second, as Chang started to raise her level and heavy winds swept across Melbourne Park. Strycova eventually regained her composure to sneak through in straight sets.


Azarenka has a perfect 3-0 head to head record over Strycova. Vika won all three matches comfortably in straight sets. There most recent encounter was last year at the Australian Open, Vika was untroubled in straight sets victory.

Vika’s first two performances this week have been extremely impressive. She should be too good for Strycova, a straight sets win seems likely.

Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to defeat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in straight sets