??? Internationaux de Strasbourg – QF preview + prediction ?? (4) Aryna Sabalenka vs. ?? Katerina Siniakova
The fourth and final quarter-final from the Internationaux de Strasbourg on Thursday sees the fourth seeded Aryna Sabalenka come up against Katerina Siniakova. This will be the first career meeting between Sabalenka and Siniakova, it will be interesting to see how the match-up evolves given the contrast in styles.
Sabalenka and Siniakova have both claimed back-to-back victories for the first time since the tour restart on route to the final 8 in Strasbourg. Sabalenka has had a favourable draw, hasn’t been too convincing but has got the job done. The Belarusian defeated Ellen Perez 6-4 6-3 in the opening round before defeating Anna Blinkova 1-6 6-4 6-2. Siniakova fought from behind in her opening round match as she defeated Bernarda Pera 4-6 7-6 6-1 before producing a solid performance to beat the seventh seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2 6-4.
I’m going to go for the upset here. I think Siniakova has what it takes to bring down a rusty Sabalenka on a clay court. Siniakova has better results on clay over the last year and half, including a run to the fourth round at Roland Garros last year where she beat the world number 1 Naomi Osaka. Siniakova can make life tough for big hitters on this surface. Sabalenka’s level hasn’t been great over her first few matches, or in general since the tour restart. Siniakova has been able to claim a few good victories, the Czech players versatile game could see her through this one.
Prediction: Katerina Siniakova to defeat Aryna Sabalenka in 3 sets
??? Internationaux de Strasbourg – R2 preview + prediction ?? (7) Ekaterina Alexandrova vs. ?? Katerina Siniakova
The 7th seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova continues her Strasbourg campaign on Wednesday with a second round match-up with the Czech Republic’s Katerina Siniakova. This will be the 6th career meeting between the pair, Alexandrova heads into this clash with a slender 3-2 head-to-head advantage over Siniakova.
Ekaterina Alexandrova stormed through the opening round in Strasbourg, easing past Storm Sander 6-1 6-0. Siniakova was forced to work much harder for her opening round victory over a much tougher opponent as she secured a gutsy 4-6 7-6 6-1 victory over Bernarda Pera.
Alexandrova holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Siniakova. The most recent meeting between the pair took place at the opening round stage in Shenzhen earlier this year, it was Alexandrova who claimed a 6-4 6-4 victory. It was Siniakova who won their most recent match on a clay court, a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory in Prague in 2018.
I’m going to side with Siniakova here. I think Siniakova is better suited to clay, especially in this match-up. Alexandrova’s powerful, somewhat one-dimensional playing style isn’t well suited to the red clay, her form isn’t great either, Siniakova should be good enough to take advantage. Siniakova’s strong performance against Kerber last week in Rome, coupled with her impressive comeback win over Pera in the opening round in Strasbourg is enough to suggest she is playing well enough to win this one.
Prediction: Katerina Siniakova to defeat Ekaterina Alexandrova in 3 sets
???? Roland Garros, R3 Preview ?? (1) Naomi Osaka vs. ?? Katerina Siniakova
Naomi Osaka continues her quest for a third consecutive Grand Slam title with a third round clash against Katerina Siniakova at Roland Garros. Osaka has fought from a set and a break down in each of her opening matches in Paris and will be hoping for a more straightforward victory here as she aims to reach the second week at Roland Garros for the first time in her career.
Naomi Osaka looked down and out in both of her matches on route to the third round. Osaka overcame a terribly slow start to defeat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 0-6 7-6 6-1 in the opening round, Schmiedlova twice served for the match in the second set of that one but couldn’t get overt the line. In the second round Osaka came from a set and 2-4 down to beat Victoria Azarenka 4-6 7-5 6-3, Azarenka had break point to go up 5-2 in the second set of that match. In a way Osaka has been lucky to survive, she could have easily lost both matches but credit to her for staying there and fighting through some tough situations.
Katerina Siniakova is through to the third round at Roland Garros for the second year in a row, Siniakova has never gone beyond the third round at a Grand Slam so this is a big opportunity for the Czech. Siniakova started the event with a 6-1 7-6 win over Elena Rybakina before battling hard to secure a spot in the third round with a 3 hour 14 minute defeat of Maria Sakkari, a 7-6 6-7 6-3 victory. Siniakova did well to come through that match with Sakkari considering she squandered a few match points in the second set but rebounded well in the third set.
Osaka won the only previous match between the pair, a 6-4 6-0 victory over Katerina Siniakova in Doha.
To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here
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?? Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Match Preview (1) ?? Angelique Kerber vs ?? Katerina Siniakova
Angelique Kerber started her Mutua Madrid Open campaign with a solid straight set win over Timea Babos, the 6-4 6-2 win was Kerber’s first victory in Madrid in 2013 and meant that she will again be world number 1 when the new rankings come out next week. Kerber will be back In action on Monday when she takes on Katerina Siniakova in the second round, a potentially dangerous match for Kerber, especially on a clay court (Kerber’s worst surface).
Australian Open, ?? First Round Match Preview ?? Julia Goerges vs ?? Katerina Siniakova
Two of the most dangerous unseeded players in the draw at Melbourne Park will go head-to-head in the first round when Julia Goerges comes up against Katerina Siniakova. Both Goerges and Siniakova ended 2016 in good form and started 2017 in great form. Siniakova won the title in Shenzhen in the first week of the year whilst Goerges made it to the semi-final stage in Auckland.
Indian Wells R1: Dominika Cibulkova vs (Q) Katerina Siniakova
Dominika Cibulkova is one of the most dangerous unseeded players in the draw at the 2016 BNP Paribas Open. The Slovakian arrives in California is good form after a run to the final in Acapulco a couple of weeks ago. Cibulkova faces Czech qualifier Katerina Siniakova in her opening match of the tournament on Wednesday afternoon. The winner of this mat h will face the third seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round.
Cibulkova continues to show signs of improvement after a poor Australian summer. Dominika reached the final at Acapulco where she was on the losing end of a 3-hour epic against Sloane Stephens in what was the greatest final of the season thus far. However, Cibulkova was unable to keep her run going in Monterrey, suffering a straight set loss Anett Kontaveit in her opening match of the event (perhaps suffering physically from a long week in Acapulco). Interestingly, Dominika doesn’t have any points to defend from now until Eastbourne, meaning that the Slovakian has a great chance to dramatically improve her current ranking of number 57 in the world. Cibulkova is a former quarter-finalist in the Californian desert, reaching the final 8 in 2014.
Katerina Siniakova stormed through the qualifying draw at the BNP Paribas Open over the past couple of days. The Czech dropped a total of 6 games on route to recording straight set wins over Raveena Kingsley and Julia Boserup. The problem for Siniakova is that she has not won a main draw match since Shenzhen (the only tournament that she has recorded main draw victories this season).
This will be the first career meeting between the pair. I highly doubt that Siniakova has the confidence or the composure that is required to truly test a determined Cibulkova on this occasion. I do expect this to be a competitive match though, Siniakova certainly has potential and has the advantage of coming through qualifying and therefore already playing a couple of matches to get used to the conditions. Ultimately, Dominika should be too good and should set up a blockbuster second round clash with Agnieszka Radwanska.
Prediction: Dominika Cibulkova to defeat Katerina Siniakova in 2 sets