Petra Kvitova vs. Garbine Muguruza, Doha Final Preview

🇶🇦 Qatar Total Open, Doha – Final Preview + Prediction:
🇨🇿 (4) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇪🇸 Garbine Muguruza

Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza go head-to-head in Saturday’s Qatar Total Open final, a rematch of the 2018 championship match in Doha. It was Kvitova who emerged victorious in Qatar in 2018 and in each of their last 4 meetings. However, it is Muguruza who has been one of the most consistent performers in 2021 and therefore enters this clash as the favourite despite her poor record in this match-up.

Kvitova and Muguruza arrived in Doha in contrasting form. Kvitova had a disappointing Australian summer, defeated by Nadia Podoroska in the second round of the Melbourne warm-up event before losing to Sorana Cirstea in the second round of the Australian Open. Conversely, Muguruza arrived in Doha fresh from a strong showing in Australia, but with unfished business to attend to. The Spaniard reached the final in the Melbourne summer series event, losing to Ash Barty, before reaching the fourth round at the Australian Open, succumbing to eventual champion Naomi Osaka from double match point up. Both Kvitova and Muguruza have overcome difficult opponents on route to the final this week, both are in great shape heading into Saturday’s finale.

Petra Kvitova’s route to the final:
R2: def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 6-3
QF: def. Anett Kontaveit 6-3 3-6 6-2
SF: def. Jessica Pegula 6-4 6-4
Garbine Muguruza’s route to the final:
R1: def. Veronika Kudermetova 6-2 7-6
R2: def. (3) Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-7 6-3
QF: def. Maria Sakkari 6-3 6-1
SF: def. (8) Victoria Azarenka WALKOVER

Kvitova holds a 4-1 head-to-head record over Muguruza. It was Muguruza who won the first meeting between the pair, a 3-set win at the WTA Finals in 2015, Kvitova has won all 4 matches since then, the last 3 were all on a hard court, 2 in straight sets, but most recently a 3-6 6-3 6-4 win in the Doha final in 2018.

Expecting a tight, high quality final. Muguruza’s recent form is stronger but Kvitova has the head-to-head edge. I’m going to side with Muguruza here, she has been impressive over the last month and I don’t believe this is necessarily a bad match-up for the Spaniard despite the negative head-to-head record. If anything, Muguruza should enjoy playing a lefty, her strong backhand gives her an edge in these matchups. Muguruza has shown in recent times that she has the game to handle top level, powerful opponents, a win over the red-hot Sabalenka this week and almost beating Naomi Osaka in Melbourne are proof of that. Kvitova’s form is still questionable despite her run to the final this week, playing an in-form Muguruza is a big step up in opposition.

Prediction: Garbine Muguruza to defeat Petra Kvitova in 3 sets

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Petra Kvitova vs. Jasmine Paolini, Roland Garros R2 Preview

??? Roland Garros, R2 preview + prediction:
?? (7) Petra Kvitova vs. ?? Jasmine Paolini

Petra Kvitova continues her 2020 Roland Garros campaign with a second round clash with Italy’s Jasmine Paolini. Kvitova made a promising start to the tournament and enters this clash as a strong favourite in what will be the first career meeting between the pair.

Kvitova produced a strong serving performance to defeat Oceane Dodin 6-3 7-5 in her opening round match in Paris. Kvitova served 8 aces and won 86% of first service points in her victory over Dodin. Roland Garros has been Kvitova’s least successful major, the 2-time Wimbledon champion hasn’t reached the second week in Paris since 2015 but has a decent chance to change that in 2020.

Paolini moved into the second round at Roland Garros with a 6-4 6-3 win over Aliona Bolsova, her first ever main draw win at a major. Paolini has been playing some decent tennis on the red dirt over the last few months, the Italian plays her best tennis on clay so it’s no surprise to see her first major win come in Paris.

I’m going to side with Kvitova here, but this has the potential to be closer than the odds suggest. Kvitova is the far better player, but clay is Kvitova’s least preferred surface and clay is Paolini’s best surface, this levels things up somewhat. Paolini should be able to get into enough extended rallies to make this close, but ultimately the far superior serving, stronger baseline game and greater experience of Kvitova should see her through.

Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Jasmine Paolini in 3 sets

Elina Svitolina vs. Petra Kvitova, bett1 ACES Final Preview

bett1 ACES Berlin Exhibition – FINAL ?? ?
?? (1) Elina Svitolina vs. ?? (3) Petra Kvitova

Wednesday’s final at the bett1 ACES Exhibition event in Berlin sees the top seeded Elina Svitolina take on grass court specialist Petra Kvitova. Kvitova heads into this clash as the strong favourite having enjoyed great success in this match-up and having a superior record on grass.

Svitolina received a bye through the opening round in Berlin before booking her spot in the final with a hard-fought 7-6 6-3 win over Anastasia Sevastova. Svitolina’s win over the Latvian was a welcome one, given the world number 5 struggled in her first exhibition event since the office tour’s shutdown Svitolina failed to get out of the group stage at an exhibition event on clay in Switzerland. The Ukrainian was beaten Simona Waltert and Viktorija Golubic whilst only just defeating Stefanie Voegele.

Kvitova is enjoying a short return to grass in Berlin. The world number 12 has cruised into the final with a 6-4 6-1 win over Andrea Petkovic and a 6-3 6-2 win over Kiki Bertens. Kvitova has already enjoyed success at an exhibition event during the official tour’s shutdown as she won the national championships in the Czech Republic last month on a hard court.

Kvitova holds a dominant 7-2 head-to-head record over Svitolina. Kvitova won 7 matches in a row over Svitolina between 2014 and 2018, but it was Svitolina who won their most recent match 6-3 6-3 at the WTA Finals in 2018. This will be the first meeting between the pair on a grass court. Interestingly, all 9 of their previous matches were on a hard court.

All signs point to a Kvitova victory in Berlin. Kvitova’s firepower has traditionally been too much for Svitolina to handle, this factor should be amplified in their first career meeting on a grass court. Kvitova’s form heading into the final is also superior given she breezed through her 2 previous matches this week. Expect Kvitova to be too strong.

Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Elina Svitolina in 2 sets

Petra Kvitova vs. Maria Sakkari, Australian Open R4 Preview

?? Australian Open, R4 preview + prediction:
?? (7) Petra Kvitova vs. ?? (22) Maria Sakkari

Petra Kvitova continues her quest for a maiden Australian Open title on Sunday with a tricky clash against the 22nd seeded Maria Sakkari. Kvitova has stormed through the draw in an ominous fashion for her rivals. However, Sakkari will come into this match with confidence given her positive recent record over the 2-time former Wimbledon champion.

Petra Kvitova was rarely troubled in her progress through the opening week of the tournament. Kvitova started the event with a 6/1 6/0 pounding of Katerina Siniakova which actually left Siniakova in tears. It was in the second round that Kvitova faced some challenging moments but pulled through to defeat Paula Badosa 7/5 7/5. The 7th seed played another near-perfect match to book her spot in the round of 16 with a 6/1 6/2 win over Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Maria Sakkari has also navigated her way through the opening week without dropping a single set to reach the round of 16 for the first time at a major. Sakkari easily defeated Margarita Gasparyan 6/2 6/2 in the opening round before battling past Nao Hibino 7/6 6/4. Sakkari made her biggest move in the third round where she upset the 10th seeded Madison Keys 6/4 6/4. Sakkari is enjoying strong support from the large Greek community in Melbourne.

It was Maria Sakkari who won the most recent match between the pair. The Greek player claimed a hard-fought 6/4 2/6 6/3 victory over Kvitova in Cincinnati last year. Sakkari also defeated Kvitova in Rome earlier in 2019, via retirement with Kvitova retiring down 0/4 in the deciding set. Their other completed match also took place last year with Kvitova winning 6/1 6/4 in Miami.

I’m going to side with Kvitova here. Once Kvitova gets into a major tournament she becomes tougher and tougher to beat. Sakkari is the type of player that can only beat Kvitova if the Czech player has a bad day, I don’t see that happening here. Kvitova has already played a couple of ruthless matches in Melbourne and should be too strong for Sakkari on this surface. Kvitova has looked very sharp and focused and will know that she has a great opportunity to go all the way in Melbourne given the state of the draw.

Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Maria Sakkari in 2 sets
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Petra Kvitova vs. Belinda Bencic, Shenzhen RR Preview

???? WTA Finals – Shenzhen RR preview
?? (6) Petra Kvitova vs. ?? (7) Belinda Bencic

Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic will renew hostilities when they do battle in a crucial match from the red group at the WTA Finals Shenzhen on Tuesday night. Kvitova and Bencic were both defeated in their opening group stage matches meaning the loser of this match is highly unlikely to progress to the semi-finals, whilst the winner will have a fighting chance.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in action during her RR1 match 2019 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Kvitova is making her 7th appearance at the WTA Finals, the 2011 champion suffered a brutal loss in her opening match in Shenzhen succumbing to Naomi Osaka 6-7 6-4 4-6 despite playing a fairly good match. Kvitova battled from a set down in the second set to force a decider but was unable to get the job done in the decider in a match that followed a strikingly similar pattern to the Australian Open final earlier this year.

Belinda Bencic was also unable to get the job done in her opening match of the tournament. Bencic made a bright start to her WTA Finals debut as she won a tight opening set over Ash Barty but was eventually overrun by the world number 1, succumbing 7-5 1-6 2-6. Bencic will be disappointed with how noncompetitive she was in the final 2 sets and eager to rebound against Kvitova with a win.

Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in action during her RR1 match 2019 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Kvitova holds a fairly dominant 4-1 head-to-head record over Bencic. The pair have already gone to battle on 3 previous occasions in 2019, Kvitova defeated Bencic 6-1 6-4 at the Australian Open before Bencic defeated Kvitova for the first time in the Dubai final, a 6-3 1-6 6-2 win. The most recent match between the pair took place in Beijing about a month ago, Kvitova won 6-3 6-3.

I’m going to side with Bencic here despite Kvitova having had the better of this match-up. Kvitova is very much a momentum player, unfortunately for Kvitova that does not bode well for her here given she hasn’t won a match in almost a month. Bencic is battle-hardened and will make life tough for Kvitova on a slow, low bouncing surface. The surface will allow Bencic to get into more rallies where her greater consistency should give her the edge against a somewhat jaded Kvitova.

Prediction: Belinda Bencic to defeat Petra Kvitova in 3 sets

Naomi Osaka vs. Petra Kvitova, Shenzhen RR Preview

???? WTA Finals – Shenzhen RR preview
?? (3) Naomi Osaka vs. ?? (6) Petra Kvitova

A blockbuster contest between Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova will kick-start the 2019 WTA Finals in Shenzhen. A rematch of this year’s epic Australian Open final, expect another exciting clash between two of the most dynamic players on tour. Kvitova will be keen for revenge after suffering a painful loss in the Australian Open final but Osaka is arguably the form player on tour and will be tough to stop.

Naomi Osaka arrives in Shenzhen on a 10-match winning streak. The Japanese star has reached at least the quarter-final stage in each of her last 5 tournaments and should be considered the favourite heading into the final tournament of the season. This will be Osaka’s second year in a row competing at the season ending championships. Osaka failed to win a single match at last year’s championships so she will be hoping for a much more successful campaign this time around.

Petra Kvitova returns to the WTA Finals for a seventh time, the 2011 champion is the only player who has played at each of the last 4 venues the tournament has been held at. Kvitova rebounded with some decent results during the Asian swing after a disappointing US Open series. Kvitova reached the semi-finals in Wuhan and the quarter-finals in Beijing.

The only previous match between the pair was in the Australian Open final earlier this year, Osaka claimed a dramatic 7-6 5-7 6-4 victory to capture her second major title.

I’m going to give the slight edge to Kvitova on this occasion. Experience and conditions favour the 2-time Wimbledon champion. Kvitova is the most experienced player in the draw and that will count for a lot in a tournament like this. Conversely, Osaka has never won a match at the WTA Finals. Kvitova has a fantastic career record at indoor events whilst the same isn’t true for Osaka. This is a big match for Kvitova, the Australian Open final defeat to Osaka this year was one of the toughest losses of her career and she will be eager for revenge, I think she gets it, Osaka is also due for a loss.

Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Naomi Osaka in 3 sets

Petra Kvitova vs. Venus Williams, Indian Wells R2 Preview

??? BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R2 Preview
?? (3) Petra Kvitova vs. ?? Venus Williams

A blockbuster second round clash from the Californian desert sees the third seeded Petra Kvitova begin her BNP Paribas Open campaign against Venus Williams, a match-up that sees two multiple time Grand Slam champions collide. Kvitova received a bye through the opening round whilst Williams came through a scrappy 3 set match against Andrea Petkovic.

Venus Williams of the United States in action during her first-round match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova is arguably the most consistent player on the WTA tour at the moment, which is a huge improvement for Kvitova who has typically been a very streaky player. Kvitova made a fantastic start to the season by winning the title in Sydney before reaching the final of the Australian Open. More recently Kvitova made to the final in Dubai where she succumbed to Belinda Bencic. Kvitova will be keen to maintain her momentum this week in Indian Wells, albeit at an event she has struggled at in the past.

The pressure is on Venus Williams this week. Williams is defending semi-finalist points from her run to the last 4 in 2018, a big chink of her current ranking points are therefore on the line this week. Williams was unconvincing in her opening round match, she came through a topsy-turvy 3 set match against Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, eventually claiming a 6-4 0-6 6-3 victory despite seemingly struggling with an illness or injury.

Kvitova holds a 4-2 head-to-head record over Williams. However, it was Venus who was triumphant in their most recent match, a memorable 6-3 3-6 7-6 win at the quarter-final stage of the 2017 US Open. Much has changed since their last match, the careers of the pair have generally gone in opposite directions with Venus fading and Kvitova clawing her way to the top, will this match reflect those moves?

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Petra Kvitova vs. Karolina Pliskova, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, White Group match preview
?? (4) Petra Kvitova vs. ?? (7) Karolina Pliskova

Fed Cup teammates Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova will go head-to-head in Thursday’s first match from the white group. Kvitova has lost her first two matches this week whilst Pliskova has 1 win and 1 loss to her name. Nevertheless, both Kvitova and Pliskova still have a chance of progressing to the semi-finals, so everything is to play for here. Kvitova has a perfect 3-0 record over Pliskova but it is Pliskova who has generally been in the better form of late, can Pliskova finally secure her first win over Pliskova?

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in action during her second match at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova has been one of the biggest disappointments of the tournament. Kvitova lost her first match of the week to Elina Svitolina in straight sets before succumbing to Caroline Wozniacki in 3 sets. Kvitova often went for too much in her loss to Svitolina and seemingly tried too hard to reverse that as she was often too passive against Wozniacki. It was strange to see Kvitova willing to get into rallies with Wozniacki and frequently not attack short ball, that tactic backfired and now leaves Kvitova requiring a straight set win here and then relying on Svitolina beating Wozniacki in the next match to progress to the semi-finals.

Karolina Pliskova made a positive start to her third consecutive WTA Finals campaign with a straight set win over defending champion Caroline Wozniacki. However, Pliskova was unable to get over the line against Elina Svitolina in her next match, succumbing in 3 sets. Pliskova admitted after the match that she felt tired after all her recent matches and travels. Pliskova will need to rebound strongly and find more energy if she is to defeat a desperate Petra Kvitova for the first time in her career.

Kvitova enters this match with a perfect 3-0 head-to-head record over Pliskova. The most recent match between the pair took place in Madrid earlier this year, Kvitova won that match 7-6 6-3. Interestingly Kvitova has gone on to win the title every time she has beaten Pliskova.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs. Petra Kvitova, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, White Group match preview
?? (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs. ?? (4) Petra Kvitova

Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova both suffered first-up defeats in Singapore and will enter this match desperate for victory to maintain a realistic hope of progressing to the semi-finals. Wozniacki and Kvitova are both former champions at this event but both made poor starts on Sunday with straight set defeats thanks to uncharacteristically poor performances. Who will rebound with a victory here?

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in acton during her first match at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Caroline Wozniacki arrived in Singapore on a high after winning the China Open in her most recent event. However, Wozniacki made a very disappointing start to her title defense at the WTA Finals, the Dane was comprehensively beaten by Karolina Pliskova 2-6 4-6. Wozniacki’s inability to take her chances was key to her loss, Wozniacki had 10 chances to break the Pliskova serve but did not take any of them.

Petra Kvitova’s sluggish start in Singapore was less surprising. Kvitova entered the tournament on the back of several early exits and has reportedly been struggling with illness during the Asian swing. Kvitova came up against a fired-up Elina Svitolina and was unable to consistently produce a high enough level to hit through the rock-solid Ukrainian, succumbing 3-6 3-6. Kvitova is the type of player that can never be dismissed, don’t rule out a drastic form reversal in her next match.

Kvitova enters this match with a 8-5 head-to-head record over Wozniacki. Kvitova has won the last 4 meetings between the pair dating back to 2015. The most recent match between the pair took place at the semi-final stage in Doha earlier this year, Kvitova won that match 3-6 7-6 7-5 on route to winning the title.

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Petra Kvitova vs. Elina Svitolina, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, White Group match preview
?? (4) Petra Kvitova vs. ?? (6) Elina Svitolina

The 2018 WTA Finals Singapore begins on Sunday evening with a white group clash between Petra Kvitova and Elina Svitolina. Kvitova heads into this match as the favourite, mostly thanks to her dominant 7-1 head-to-head record over Svitolina. However, Svitolina is never a pushover and will fancy her chances against a potentially rusty Kvitova. Can Svitolina start the tournament with an upset victory?

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic during practice ahead of the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova will be competing in Singapore for the first time since her runner-up finish in 2015. Kvitova has had an outstanding season having won 5 titles. However, Kvitova has not found her best tennis in the biggest events, Kvitova had only won 2 matches at Grand Slam events in 2018, the WTA finals presents itself as a shot at redemption as the largest tournament outside the Grand Slam events. Kvitova has won this tournament before, back in 2011 in Istanbul.

Elina Svitolina’s form has really dropped away in the second half of the season so she too has a point to prove in Singapore. Svitolina’s results during the Asian swing were very poor by her usual standards, opening round defeats in Wuhan and Beijing highlighted her recent misery. Svitolina will be competing in Singapore for the second time, she made her tournament debut last year where she failed to get through the group stage.

Kvitova holds a 7-1 record over Svitolina and has won the last 7 matches between the pair, a surprisingly dominant record given how tough Svitolina usually is to beat. Indeed, Kvitova has dominated Svitolina like no other player has been able to do, 6 of Kvitova’s wins over Svitolina were in straight sets including a 6-4 7-5 win in Doha earlier this year in their most recent match.

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