Karolina Pliskova vs. Marketa Vondrousova, Rome SF Preview

🇮🇹🍝 Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome SF preview + prediction
🇨🇿 (2) Karolina Pliskova vs.🇨🇿 (12) Marketa Vondrousova

Karolina Pliskova is a couple of wins away from successfully defending her title in Rome. The second seeded Pliskova faces a tough test in Sunday’s second semi-final at the Foro Italico when she comes up against reigning Roland Garros runner-up Marketa Vondrousova.

A return to the Roman clay has seen a change in fortunes for Karolina Pliskova who has a poor run in the United States. The 2019 Internazionali BNL d’Italia champion started her 2020 campaign with a 6-3 6-3 win over Barbora Strycova before moving past Anna Blinkova 6-4 6-3. The second seed secured her spot in the semi-finals with a 6-3 3-6 6-0 win over the 11th seeded Elise Mertens.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in action during her second-round match at the 2020 Internazionali BNL d’Italia WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Marketa Vondrousova is having her best week on tour since she reached the Roland Garros final last year. It has been a roller-coaster week for the 21-year-old. Vondrousova started the week with a 6-1 4-6 6-4 win over Misaki Doi before beating Arantxa Rus 6-3 6-3. The Czech squeezed past Polona Hercog 6-1 1-6 7-6 in in an epic struggle before producing her best performance of the tournament thus far with a 6-3 6-0 win over the 4th seeded Elina Svitolina.

It was Pliskova who won the only previous meeting between the pair, a 6-3 6-4 win at the quarter-final stage of the Miami Open last year.

Vondrousova is a threat to Pliskova on a clay court. However, I’ll stick with Pliskova here. Vondrousova is having a great week but I’m still not convinced she has what it takes to go to the next level. Pliskova’s stronger game and greater mentality under pressure should give her the edge in the critical moments.

Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Marketa Vondrousova in 3 sets

Marketa Vondrousova vs. Polona Hercog, Rome R3 Preview

Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome R3 preview + prediction
🇨🇿 (12) Marketa Vondrousova vs. 🇸🇮 Polona Hercog

The final quarter-final spot at the 2020 Internazionali BNL d’Italia will be determined when the 12th seeded Marketa Vondrousova takes on Slovenia’s Polona Hercog. This will be the first career meeting between the pair on a surface that traditionally brings out the best of both players.

Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in action during her second-round match at the 2020 Internazionali BNL d’Italia WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Vondrousova has finally won back-to-back main draw matches for the first time since Adelaide in January. The 2019 Roland Garros runner-up came through a roller-coaster opening round match where she defeated Misaki Doi 6-1 4-6 6-4. The 21-year-old claimed a more commanding victory in the second round as she eased past Arantxa Rus 6-3 6-3.

It was during last season’s European clay court swing that Vondrousova took her game to another level, winning the title in Istanbul, reaching the quarter-finals in Rome and then making it all the way to the final in Paris without dropping a set. Things haven’t been great since then for rising star, but perhaps this is the week that her fortunes will finally turn.

Polona Hercog is playing in her fourth clay court event since the tour restart, the 29-year-old is playing some decent tennis having reached the quarter-finals in Istanbul last week. Hercog started her Rome campaign with a 4-6 6-4 6-1 win over Kaja Juvan before upsetting the 5th seeded Kiki Bertens 6-4 6-4.

I’m going to side with Vondrousova here. Hercog is a powerful player on clay but Vondrousova moves better than just about anyone on this surface which will negate the strengths of Hercog. Hercog is also the type of player that relies on winning a high percentage of her service games, this will be problematic against one of the better returns of serve on tour. Vondrousova’s lefty pattern of play also plays nicely into the weaker Hercog backhand side, Vondrousova also has the power and versatility to expose the movement of Hercog. A seemingly good match-up for Vondrousova on a heavy clay court.

Prediction: Marketa Vondrousova to defeat Polona Hercog in 2 sets

Marketa Vondrousova vs. Greet Minnen, US Open R1 Preview

2020 US OPEN – R1 preview + prediction: ??
?? (12) Marketa Vondrousova vs. ?? Greet Minnen

The 12th seeded Marketa Vondrousova will be keen to begin reversing her recent downward spiral when she takes on Belgium’s Greet Minnen in the opening round of the 2020 US Open.

Vondrousova has lost her first couple of matches since the tour restart. The Czech was beaten by Kaja Juvan in 3 sets on clay in Palermo, more recently Vondrousova suffered a 3-set loss to Laura Siegemund at the Western & Southern Open. The 21-year-old has never recaptured the form that saw her reach the Roland Garros final last year, perhaps that level is around the corner if she can remain injury free.

Minnen has also lost her first couple of matches since the tour restart. Minnen succumbed to Lara Arruabarrena in 3 sets in Palermo before stumbling at the opening round of the qualifying draw at the Western & Southern Open thanks to a straight set loss to Viktoria Kuzmova.

The only previous meeting between the pair took place n 2017, Vondrousova smashed Minnen 6-1 6-0 in Grenoble. This looks like a good match-up for Vondrousova.

Vondrousova should get the job done here despite her recent poor form. Minnen is a powerful player but has poor movement and lacks consistency. Vondrousova has the skills to exploit the weaknesses in the Minnen game. Vondrousova has fantastic movement and versatility, the perfect combination to see the Minnen game unravel. Winning a high percentage of service games is key for Minnen but that won’t be easy given Vondrousova has one of the best returns of serve on tour, a bad match-up for the Belgian.

Prediction: Marketa Vondrousova to defeat Greet Minnen in 2 sets
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Marketa Vondrousova vs. Laura Siegemund, CincyTennis R1 Preview

?? Western & Southern Open – R1 Preview
?? (10) Marketa Vondrousova vs. ?? (Q) Laura Siegemund

The 10th seeded Marketa Vondrousova begins her Western & Southern Open campaign on Sunday with a first round clash against German qualifier Laura Siegemund.

Vondrousova arrives in New York on the back of a disappointing opening round exit in Palermo where she was beaten by Kaja Juvan in 3 sets. Vondrousova withdrew from Prague the following week before making her way to the USA. Vondrousova is struggling to find the form that saw her reach the Roland Garros final last year, the 21-year-old has only won back-to-back matches at 1 event this year, the opening event of the year in January.

Siegemund made her way into the main draw at the Western & Southern Open with a pair of straight set victories over Kateryna Kozlova and Caroline Dolehide. Siegemund has been extremely busy lately having reached the second round in Palermo and Prague on the European clay, prior to that the German also played a heap of exhibition matches in the German National competition.

The only previous meeting between the pair took place in Indian Wells last year, Vondrousova won that match 6/4 7/6.

I’m going to give Vondrousova the benefit of the doubt here. It is hard to pick Vondrousova with much confidence at the moment because she is clearly lacking in confidence. However, this is a match Vondrousova should be winning, this is a good match-up for Vondrousova and a surface that should suit her in this match-up. Vondrousova can match the versatility and movement of Siegemund whilst possessing more weaponry from the back of the court, especially on a hard court.

Prediction: Marketa Vondrousova to defeat Laura Siegemund in 3 sets

Marketa Vondrousova vs. Saisai Zheng, Doha R1 Preview

Qatar Total Open, Doha R1 Preview + prediction:
?? (12) Marketa Vondrousova vs. ?? Saisai Zheng

The 12th seeded Marketa Vondrousova begins her 2020 Qatar Total Open campaign with an opening round clash against China’s Saisai Zheng. Vondrousova arrives in Doha fresh from a bitterly disappointing second round exit in Dubai at the hands of Jennifer Brady, Vondrousova led that match by a set and a double break before collapsing, the 2019 Roland Garros runner-up will be hoping for a strong response here.

It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Vondrousova in her return to the WTA tour after injury side-lined her for the second half of 2019. Vondrousova recently suffered back-to-back opening round exits at the Australian Open and in St. Petersburg. The 20-year-old snapped her 3-match losing run in Dubai last week where she comfortably defeated Anastasija Sevastova in the opening round before succumbing to Jenifer Brady 4-6 6-4 6-1 despite leading by a set and 4-1.

Saisai Zheng has made a mostly modest start to the 2020 season. Zheng has a 3-4 win/loss record in 2020, Zheng arrives in Doha on the back of an opening round exit at in the qualifying draw in Dubai where she was beaten by Katerina Siniakova in straight sets. Prior to that Zheng was easily beaten by Patricia Maria Tig in Hua Hin where she played an awful match. Zheng did however reach the final of the doubles event in Dubai.

Vondrousova comfortably defeated Zheng in their only previous meeting, a 6-2 6-3 win on grass in Eastbourne last year.

I’m going to side with Vondrousova here. I believe this is a good match-up for Vondrousova. Zheng usually relies on her versatility to undo her opponents but that is unlikely to happen with Vondrousova. The Czech player can better the versatility of Zheng whilst possessing far more power and attacking weapons. Zheng’s net charging tactics will also backfire here as Vondrousova loves a target at the net. Vondrousova is better in all departments and should be smart enough to get through this one pretty comfortably.

Prediction: Marketa Vondrousova to defeat Saisai Zheng in 2 sets
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Ashleigh Barty vs. Marketa Vondrousova, Roland Garros Final Preview

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?? (8) Ashleigh Barty vs. ?? Marketa Vondrousova

A new Grand Slam champion will be crowned on Saturday in Paris as the 8th seeded Ashleigh Barty takes on the unseeded Marketa Vondrousova in the 2019 Roland Garros championship match. Barty and Vondrousova will both be competing in their very first Grand Slam singles final, a huge opportunity for both players. It is Barty who heads into this match as the favourite to lift the trophy, Barty is the more experienced player, the higher ranked player and has won both of the previous matches between the pair, but don’t take Vondrousova lightly.

Ash Barty came through a rollercoaster semi-final against Amanda Anisimova to secure her spot in the final. Barty raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set before dropping 10 of the next 11 games to find her self down 6-7 0-3 and seemingly heading for the exit door. However, the Aussie showed true resilience to rebound against a fearless opponent and secure a famous 6-7 6-3 6-3 victory. Barty’s versatility has caused her opponents all types of problems all tournament, she truly is a unique player in the women’s game, Barty’s slice backhand is one of the best shots in the women’s game at the moment.

At just 19-years of age Marketa Vondrousova is through to a Grand Slam final. Vondrousova certainly doesn’t play like a teenager on court. The young Czech star has played with a maturity well beyond her years to reach Saturday’s final without dropping a single set all tournament. Vondrousova’s gutsy 7-5 7-6 semi-final win over Johanna Konta typified her strong character. Vondrousova trailed 3-5 in each set but never lost her cool and eventually wore down Konta with her relentless scrapping from the baseline. Like Barty, Vondrousova is a unique player, she has it all, power, outstanding defense, great touch and a very competent net game.

Barty holds a perfect 2-0 record over Vondrousova. The Aussie has won both of the previous matches between the pair in straight sets, 7-5 7-6 on the Nottingham grass in 2017 whilst more recently Barty claimed a 6-3 7-5 win on a hard court in Cincinnati late last year. This will be their first meeting on clay court and easily the biggest match of both players respective careers. Who will prevail?

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Johanna Konta vs. Marketa Vondrousova, Roland Garros SF Preview

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?? (26) Johanna Konta vs. ?? Marketa Vondrousova

An unexpected semi-final match-up at Roland Garros sees the 28th seeded Johanna Konta take on 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova. The stakes couldn’t be much higher, Konta and Vondrousova will both be aiming to reach a maiden Grand Slam final. Both players enter this match full of confidence having claimed successive straight set wins over quality opposition to reach this stage of the tournament, who will prevail?

Johanna Konta is having an unbelievably good clay court season for someone who has never previously even won a main draw match in Paris. It all started in Marrakech where Konta reached her first clay court final before reaching the final in Rome last month. Konta has carried her strong form into Paris where she has played some devastating tennis. The British number 1 navigated her way through the first week of the event with wins over Antonia Lottner, Lauren Davis and Viktoria Kuzmova, Konta’s 3 set win over Davis was the only match she has dropped a set this tournament. Konta’s two most recent victories have been especially impressive, a 6-2 6-4 win over the 23rd seeded Donna Vekic before crushing the 7th seeded Sloane Stephens 6-1 6-4 in a near-flawless serving display.

Marketa Vondrousova has swept through the draw In Paris without dropping a single set to reach the final 4 of a Grand Slam for the first time. The unseeded Czech started the event with wins over Yafan Wang and Anastasia Potapova before beating 3 seeded opponent in a row. Vondrousova cruised past the 28th seeded Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4 6-4 before crushing the 12th seeded Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 6-0. Vondrousova’s greatest challenge came at the quarter-final stage where she battled past the 31st seeded Petra Martic 7-6 7-5 in what was a gruelling match that lasted exactly 2 hours. Vondrousova now gets a change at revenge against Johanna Konta, an opponent she recently lost to in Rome.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Vondrousova defeated Konta 7-6 6-4 in Indian Wells last year whilst more recently Konta claimed a 6-3 3-6 6-1 victory in Rome last month. Konta’s recent win over Vondrousova on clay gives her the slight edge heading into this match but Vondrousova will fancy her chances on this occasion.

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Petra Martic vs. Marketa Vondrousova, Roland Garros QF Preview

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?? (31) Petra Martic vs. ?? Marketa Vondrousova

A pair of first time quarter-finalists will go head-to-head for a spot in the final 4 at Roland Garros when the 31st seeded Petra Martic comes up against Marketa Vondrousova. On paper this may look like an unexpected quarter-final match-up for a Grand Slam, but Martic and Vondrousova have actually been two of the best performers of the clay court season. Martic has won more matches on the red dirt than anyone else on tour this year whilst Vondrousova has claimed some big wins on the clay over the last few months.

Petra Martic of Croatia in action during her fourth-round match at the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Petra Martic stormed through the first week at Roland Garros without dropping a set. Martic started her Paris campaign with easy straight set wins over Ons Jabeur and Kristina Mladenovic before upsetting the 2nd seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-3 6-3. Martic’s greatest battle came in the round of 16 where she managed to reach a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final in her fifth fourth round appearance thanks to a 5-7 6-2 6-4 win over Kaia Kanepi. Martic had to battle mental demons in her win over Kanepi, she almost blew her greatest chance to reach the final 8 at a slam but got over the line in what was a tense match.

Marketa Vondrousova arrived in Paris having only won 6 main draw matches at the Grand Slam level. Now Vondrousova is suddenly in a maiden quarter-final in Paris thanks to some devastating tennis. Vondrousova has cruised into the final 8 without dropping a set, in fact she has rarely even been tested. Vondrousova started the event with easy wins over Yafan Wang and Anastasia Potapova before eliminating the 28th seeded Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4 6-4. Vondrousova booked her spot in the quarter-finals with a 6-2 6-0 thrashing of the 12th seeded Anastasija Sevastova. The young Czech star will need to keep up her recent great form if she is to advance any further when she takes on an opponent she is struggled against in recent times.

Petra Martic heads into this clash with a strong 4-0 head-to-head record over Marketa Vondrousova. All 4 of the meetings between the pair have been in the last couple of years. Their most recent match took place in the Istanbul final a few months ago, Martic claimed a 1-6 6-4 6-1 victory on that occasion. Martic won all 3 of their previous matches in straight sets, all on a hard court. Can an in form Vondrousova make it fifth time lucky against the Croatian?

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Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Marketa Vondrousova, Roland Garros R3 Preview

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?? (28) Carla Suarez Navarro vs. ?? Marketa Vondrousova

An interesting third round match-up from Roland Garros on Friday sees Carla Suarez Navarro and Marketa Vondrousova go head-to-head for the first time. This match-up sees experience take on youth. Suarez Navarro has reached the second week in Paris on 5 previous occasions whilst Vondrousova is one of the brightest young prospects on tour and is in great form at the moment. Who will prevail?

Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in action during her second-round match at the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Carla Suarez Navarro has struggled to find her best tennis for the majority of 2019 but may be peaking just at the right time. The Spaniard has consistently performed well in Paris over the years, she has now reached the third round in 7 of her last 8 visits to Roland Garros. Suarez Navarro started her 2019 campaign with a hard-fought 2-6 7-6 6-0 win over an in-form Dayana Yastremska. The 28th seed booked her spot in the third round by defeating Shelby Rogers 6-1 6-7 6-3 to set up a clash with Vondrousova.

Marketa Vondrousova has cruised through her first couple of matches in Paris. The 19-year-old started the event with a 6-4 6-3 win over Yafan Wang before defeating Anastasia Potapova 6-4 6-0. Vondrousova has won 19 of her last 24 matches, a streak that has seen her claim a few wins over grand slam champions Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko as well as multiple other wins over established top 30 players.

It will be interesting to see how this match-up unfolds as the pair do battle for the first time.

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Simona Halep vs. Marketa Vondrousova, Indian Wells R4 Preview

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?? (2) Simona Halep vs. ?? Marketa Vondrousova

Simona Halep continues her BNP Paribas Open campaign on Tuesday with a fourth round clash against Marketa Vondrousova. The world number 2 has made a good start to the tournament as she attempts to win her second Indian Wells title having gone all the way in 2015.

Simona Halep of Romania in action during her third-round match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Halep has come through two reasonably tough matches in straight sets to reach the fourth round in Indian Wells. Halep started the tournament with a competitive 6-2 6-4 win over Barbora Strycova after receiving a bye through the first round. Halep confirmed her place in the fourth round with a hard-fought 7-6 7-5 win over Kateryna Kozlova, Halep was made to work especially hard in this match, perhaps the test she needed as she heads into the business end of the tournament.

Marketa Vondrousova continues to rise up the WTA standings. Vondrousova has defeated 3 tricky opponents on route to the fourth round in Indian Wells. Vondrousova started the event with a 6-4 7-6 win over Laura Siegemund before upsetting last year’s runner up: Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-1. Vondrousova’s toughest test came against Jelena Ostapenko in the third round, Vondrousova overcame several deficits to ultimately claim a 4-6 6-3 6-4 victory.

This will be the first career meeting between Halep and Vondrousova. Can the young Czech cause the world number 2 any real problems?

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