WTA Finals RR: (4) Petra Kvitova vs (6) Angelique Kerber
Monday’s second match from the white group sees 2011 WTA Finals champion Petra Kvitova come up against Angelique Kerber in what promises to be an extremely close battle. The last 5 matches between the pair have gone the distance, there is certainly very little to separate the two. This looms as a critical game in the white group, the winner will be odds on to reach the semi-finals whilst the loser will find it tough to advance past the group stage.
Petra Kvitova will be competing in her 5th consecutive WTA Finals campaign this week, an outstanding achievement. However Petra arrives in Singapore on the back of a poor showing during the Asian swing, suffering disappointing early round losses in Wuhan and Beijing to Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani. Kvitova struggled at this event last year, the slower conditions in Singapore don’t really play into the hands of the Czech. Petra will be extra motivated at this stage of the year with the Fed Cup final just around the corner.
Angelique Kerber will be making her first appearance in Singapore, after just missing out on a spot last year. Angie has had a very consistent year and arrives in Singapore in good form after solid deep runs throughout the Asian swing. The German reached the quarter-finals in Tokyo and Beijing, the semi-finals in Wuhan and the final in Hong Kong. After disappointing results at the Grand Slam level this year, Singapore is Angie’s chance to redeem herself on the big stage, she will be aiming to reach at least the semi-final stage for the first time in her career.
Petra Kvitova holds a 4-2 head-to-head record over Angelique Kerber, the Czech has won the last 3 encounters between the pair. All 3 of those victories were on a hard court and all of them required a third set. The last match between the pair was an epic in the Fed Cup final last year, a 7-6 4-6 6-4 victory for Kvitova.
I’m going to side with Kerber on this occasion. Angie’s form has clearly been much more consistent throughout the year and was certainly much better during the Asian swing. Heading into this match, we know what to expect from Kerber, her level doesn’t vary dramatically. However it’s tough to know what to expect from Kvitova. The slower courts will make it tougher for Kvitova to hit through Kerber and make her serve a little less effective. This looks like a good opportunity for Kerber to pick up a rare victory over Kvitova.