New Haven R2: (2) Petra Kvitova vs Madison Keys
An intriguing second round clash at the Connecticut Open sees defending champion Petra Kvitova take on Madison Keys. Petra Kvitova hasn’t won a match during the U.S Open series and will be extremely desperate to pick up a couple of victories this week before heading to New York for the final Grand Slam of the year.
Petra Kvitova’s preparation for the U.S Open has been far from ideal, suffering first round exits in Toronto and Cincinnati. Petra was defeated by Victoria Azarenka in straight sets in Toronto before suffering a three set loss to Caroline Garcia last week. The good news for Petra is that she often plays some of her best tennis in New Haven, winning the title twice in the last three years. Petra will need to win at least a couple of matches in New Haven, otherwise it is hard to see Petra causing much damage in New York next week.
Madison Keys’ preparation for the U.S Open has also been far from idea, the American will also be keen to pick up a couple of victories in New Haven. Madison made impressive starts in Stanford and Cincinnati but stumbled in the second round at both events. Madison was distraught after her loss to Jankovic last week in Cincinnati, a sad day for the American. Keys advanced to the second round in New Haven courtesy of Elina Svitolina retiring injured during the second set of their first round match. Keys was up 7-6 4-2 and well on her way to victory before Svitolina was forced to retire.
The head to head record between Petra and Madison is split at one win apiece. Kvitova convincingly defeated Keys 6-2 6-2 in Tokyo in 2013, Keys avenged that loss with a stirring 6-4 7-5 victory in the third round of the Australian Open earlier this year. Keys was able to dictate play in that match, a real rarity against Kvitova.
These are two of the most inconsistent players on tour, making this match difficult to predict. However Keys seems to have the edge heading into this one, the American has shown glimpses of brilliance over the last couple of weeks whilst Kvitova is a shadow of her former self. Madison’s victory over Petra in Melbourne earlier this year will give her the added confidence she needs heading into this match.