Taiwan Open, Taipei City QF Preview
?? Monica Niculescu vs ?? Sabine Lisicki
Monica Niculescu and Sabine Lisicki will renew hostilities when they meet at the quarter-final stage of the Taiwan Open on Friday. This is a fascinating match-up because of the extreme contrast in styles, these two couldn’t be more opposite. The forehand slice and touch of Niculescu against the extreme power of Lisicki. It is Niculescu who has the slight head-to-head advantage, the Romanian holds a 4-3 record over the German. The pair have both come through some tough matches this week, who will step up and reach the semi-finals in Taipei City?
Monica Niculescu started her Taiwan Open campaign with a comfortable straight set win over Ons Jabeur. It was in the second round that the Romanian faced her first real test in the form of Zarina Diyas. Niculescu won a topsy-turvy contest 6-0 1-6 6-4. The pair split one-sided sets to start the match, the third set was a real battle, Niculescu ultimately ended the stronger of the two, winning despite being down a break on 3 separate occasions in the final set. A confidence boosting win for Niculescu.
Sabine Lisicki received a second life at the Taiwan Open as she survived an epic opening round clash with Yuxuan Zhang. Lisicki trailed 1-5 in the deciding set but managed to save a couple of match points on route to a 6-3 1-6 7-6 victory. Lisicki produced another impressive comeback in the second round, coming from 2-4 0-40 down in the opening set to beat Nao Hibino 6-4 6-1. Lisicki will need to a bit more consistent if she is to get past the tricky challenge that is Monica Niculescu.
As mentioned above, it is Niculescu who holds a 4-3 head-to-head record over Lisicki. Niculescu easily won their most recent match, 6-2 6-2 in Doha in 2016. On hard courts, the head-to-head record is split at 3 wins apiece, Lisicki has won 2 of their last 3 meetings.