Lucie Safarova vs Sam Stosur
Lucie Safarova and Sam Stosur will renew hostilities for the second time in 2015 when they come head to head in the opening round at the Qatar Total Open. Lucie and Sam have made similar starts to the season, both have shown promising form but both have struggling to convert that form into consecutive victories. However, Lucie has made a couple of steps in the right direction of late.
Lucie Safarova has turned her early season woes around in the past couple of weeks, making back to back quarter-finals in Antwerp and Dubai. Lucie eventually succumbed to Karolina Pliskova on both occasions, a disappointing result for Lucie who may now find that her position in the Fed Cup team alongside Petra kvitova is under real threat.
Lucie’s best performance of the season came last week where she recorded a dominant 6-4 6-2 third round victory over defending champion, Venus Williams in Dubai. Lucie left Venus scratching her head, the Czech number 2 played lights out tennis, hitting winners from every position of the court. Lucie will be looking to build on her recent quarter-finals appearances and go a couple of steps further this week in Doha.
Sam Stosur has made a mediocre start to her 2015 campaign. the Aussie currently has a 3-6 record this year, including Fed Cup matches. Stosur is yet to string together consecutive victories this year, continually succumbing to players ranked around or just just above her.
The fast conditions in the Middle East don’t really suit Stosur’s game, the Aussie often struggles when time is taken away from her. It will be tough for Stosur to turn things around this week and finally record back to back victories, the Aussie will need to overcome a horrible head to head record against Lucie Safarova and navigate her way through a tricky section of the draw.
Lucie Safarova has a dominant 9-3 head to head record over Sam. However it was the Aussie who came out on top in their most recent encounter, breaking a string of six consecutive losses to Lucie to prevail 7-6 5-7 6-3 in the first round of this years Sydney International. That victory was Stosur’s finest result of the season thus far, however she will find it extremely tough to emulate that result in Doha.
Sam Stosur has a terrible record against lefties, the head to head record correctly suggests that Lucie has the edge in this matchup. Lucie comes into this match with the better form, having played some great tennis last week in Dubai, especially in her victory over Venus Williams. I suspect Lucie will record her 10th victory over Stosur here, probably in three sets.
Prediction: Lucie Safarova to defeat Sam Stosur in 3 sets