??? BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R4 Preview ?? Venus Williams vs. ?? Mona Barthel
The only fourth round match-up at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open that features two unseeded players sees Venus Williams come up against Mona Barthel. It has been a great tournament thus far for both Williams and Barthel, both have exceeded expectations with victories over more fancied opposition, who will keep their run alive and advance to the final 8?
The pressure was on Venus Williams heading into this event. Williams has slipped back outside the top 30 in the rankings and was in danger of slipping further with an early exit in Indian Wells given she is defending semi-finalist points from last year. Venus has seemingly sensed the urgency to perform well and has produced some inspiring performances to reach the fourth round. Venus started the event with a scrappy 3 set win over Andrea Petkovic before causing a huge upset as she came from a set and a break down to defeat the third seeded Petra Kvitova 4-6 7-5 6-4. Williams secured her spot in the fourth round with a solid 6-2 7-5 win over Christina McHale.
Mona Barthel arrived in Indian Wells desperately out of form and just clinging on to a spot in the top 100 in the rankings. Barthel had not won back-to-back matches at the WTA tour level since Tashkent last year making her run to the fourth round in the Californian desert a special one. Barthel started her BNP Paribas Open campaign with a hard-fought 6-4 6-7 7-5 win over Lin Zhu before upsetting the 17th seeded Madison Keys 3-6 6-1 7-5. Barthel made it back-to-back upset victories as she defeated the 15th seeded Julia Goerges 7-5 1-6 6-4. The most impressive part of Barthel’s week thus far has been her ability to get over the line deep into a third set where she has held her nerve well, something she has struggled to do in the past.
Venus Williams holds perfect 3-0 head-to-head record over Barthel. All 3 of those victories were in straight sets, including a 6-3 7-5 victory at the 2017 Australian Open in their most recent match. Can an in-form Barthel flip the script this time around?
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?? Australian Open, R1 Preview ?? (13) Anastasija Sevastova vs. ?? Mona Barthel
Anastasija Sevastova and Mona Barthel will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the opening round stage of the Australian Open on Tuesday. Sevastova is one of many players that will fancy their chances to go on a deep run at Melbourne Park in what is a wide open field. First, Sevastova needs to navigate her way past Barthel.
Sevastova made a good start to the season at the Brisbane International where she won a couple of matches before succumbing to Naomi Osaka in a high quality 3 set contest. Sevastova then made her way down to Sydney where she suffered a surprise first round loss, the Latvian was beaten by Timea Bacsinszky in 3 tight sets to ensure she would be on an early flight to Melbourne, perhaps a blessing in disguise.
Mona Barthel started her season in Auckland where she was eliminated in the second round by eventual champion Julia Goerges in straight sets. Barthel was scheduled to play in Hobart last week but withdrew from the tournament with a ‘viral illness.’ At her best, Barthel can play, the 28-year-old reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park in 2017 and enters this match-up with nothing to lose.
Can Barthel challenge the 13th seeded Latvian?
To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here
Roland Garros, R1 Preview ?? (12) Angelique Kerber vs. ?? Mona Barthel
The 12th seeded Angelique Kerber comes up against compatriot Mona Barthel in the opening round of Roland Garros. Kerber’s recent record at Roland Garros has been horrible, consecutive opening round losses for Kerber in Paris means that she heads into this year’s event with nothing to lose. Clay is Barthel’s best surface and she has beaten Kerber a few times before, an upset seems plausible here.
Kerber has been extremely consistent in 2018, arguably the most consistent player on tour. Kerber has already reached 7 quarter-finals in 2018, including a solid quarter-final showing in Rome prior to arriving in Paris. Kerber claimed wins over Diyas, Begu and Sakkari in Rome before succumbing to eventual champion Elina Svitolina in straight sets.
Mona Barthel’s form heading into Roland Garros is far less impressive. Barthel was unable to get through the qualifying draw in both Madrid and Rome. Most recently Barthel actually put in great performance in Nuremburg where she was defeated by Kiki Bertens in 3 tough sets at the second round stage after beating Witthoeft in the opening round.
Kerber holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Barthel. It is Kerber has won the last two matches between the pair, 7-6 6-2 win at Roland Garros in 2013, more recently it was a 6-4 6-3 win for Kerber in Dubai last year. Barthel has beaten Kerber on two previous occasions, can she do it again here?
BNP Paribas Open, ??? Indian Wells R2 Preview ?? (4) Elina Svitolina vs ?? Mona Barthel
Elina Svitolina looms as one of the favourites to win this year’s BNP Paribas Open title. Svitolina is the form player on the tour right now having already won 2 titles this year. Svitolina will begin her Indian Wells campaign on Saturday with a second round clash against Germany’s Mona Barthel after the fourth seed received a bye through the opening round.
Svitolina has amassed a 14/2 win/loss record in 2018. The Ukrainian is full confidence right now and seemingly playing the best tennis of her career at the moment. Svitolina arrives in Indian Wells fresh off winning the Tie Break Tens competition in New York, Svitolina was dominant at that event, easily beating her 3 opponents. Svitolina’s most recent tour level event was in Dubai where she won her second title of the year.
Svitolina does not have a great record in Indian Wells, her best result at the event is a couple of third round appearances in 2017 and 2015. In general, Svitolina has underachieved at the biggest events and is yet to win a premier mandatory title despite all of her recent success. Svitolina would be very keen to win either Indian Wells or Miami over the next month.
Mona Barthel booked her spot in the second round at the BNP Paribas Open courtesy of a commanding 6-2 6-1 win over Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg. Barthel is coming off a good week in Budapest where she upset the defending champion Timea Babos on route to the semi-final stage.
Svitolina heads into this match with a 3-1 H2H record over Barthel. The most recent match between the pair took place last year in Rome, Svitolina won that match 3-6 6-0 6-0.
To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here
Wimbledon ???? Day 2, R1 Match Preview: (24) ?? CoCo Vandeweghe vs ?? Mona Barthel
In an open draw, CoCo Vandeweghe looms as a dark horse at Wimbledon 2017. Vandeweghe has proven that grass is her most dangerous surface given her huge serve, flat groundstrokes and willingness to come to the net. Vandeweghe has also shown that she is capable at the Grand Slam level after making it all the way to the semi-finals at Melbourne Park earlier this year. Vandeweghe opens her 2017 Wimbledon on Tuesday against German Mona Barthel.
Internazionali BNL d’Italia ?? R3 Preview (8) ?? Elina Svitolina vs (Q) ?? Mona Barthel
Mona Barthel enters her third round clash with Elina Svitolina in Rome on a 12-match winning streak. The German came through the qualifying draw to win the title in Prague a couple of weeks ago and has again successfully advanced through the qualifying draw in Rome. Barthel will face her biggest challenge of the last couple of weeks when she faces a determined Elina Svitolina for a place in the quarter-finals at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
Angelique Kerber will look to get her season back on track in Dubai after another disappointing early round exit in Doha last week. Kerber started the season as the world number 1 with the tennis world watching to see how she will handle the new pressures and expectations placed on her this season. Unfortunately, the answer has been that she has been unable to deal with it, amassing a modest 4-4 win/loss record to start 2017. Kerber should be desperate to avoid an upset loss to compatriot Mona Barthel in second round action on Tuesday in Dubai. Kerber could regain her number 1 ranking if she was to win the tournament this week.
Australian Open, ??? Fourth Round Match Preview
(13) ?? Venus Williams vs ?? Mona Barthel
Venus Williams continues to defy all odds, remaining extremely competitive at the biggest tournaments at the age of 36. Venus Williams is the most experienced player on tour, having competed in more Grand Slam events than anyone in the open era, Venus certainly makes the most of that vast experience. The American will come up against Mona Barthel at the fourth round stage on Sunday. Venus has been blessed with a very favourable draw at the first Grand Slam of the year, Venus will be keen to take full advantage and advance to the quarter-final stage.
Australian Open, ?? Third Round Match preview (wc) ?? Ashleigh Barty vs (Q) ?? Mona Barthel
A huge opportunity to reach the second week of a Grand Slam for the very first time presents itself to Ashleigh Barty and Mona Barthel when they do battle at the third round stage on Rod Laver Arena on Friday night. Barty and Barthel are both playing some of their best tennis in recent times, both have advanced to the third round without dropping a set, both will see this match as a golden opportunity reach a new high at the Grand Slam level. It will be interesting to see who can keep their head in what should be a nervy affair given what is on the line.
Australian Open, ?? Second Round Match preview (29) ?? Monica Puig vs (Q) ?? Mona Barthel
There are higher expectations on Monica Puig heading into 2017 after her gold medal heroics at the Rio Olympic games last year. The Puerto Rican made a commanding start to her Australian Open campaign on Monday as she looks to reach the second week at Melbourne Park for the very first time. Puig comes up against Mona Barthel in the second round, a potentially dangerous opponent having already won four matches at Melbourne Park after making her way through the qualifying draw.