BNP Paribas Open, ???Quarter-Final Match Preview
(19) ?? Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs (8) ?? Svetlana Kuznetsova
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Svetlana Kuznetsova will go head-to-head for the third time in season 2017 when they meet at the quarter-final stage of the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday. Pavlyuchenkova has been a surprise winner in both the matches between the pair in 2017, including a straight set victory in the fourth round of the Australian Open, Kuznetsova will be desperate for revenge and will still be confident knowing that she won 5 of their 6 matches prior to this year.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has made a great start to the year, the Russian has now made the quarter-final stage at the two biggest events in 2017 after reaching the final eight at the Australian Open in January. Pavlyuchenkova cruised through her first two matches in the Californian desert, collecting straight set wins over Annett Kontaveit and Barbora Strycova. The Russian’s greatest test came in the round of 16 where she required three sets to beat Dominika Cibulkova, finishing strongly to win 6-4 3-6 6-2.
Svetlana Kuznetsova has also generally played good tennis in 2017 but has failed to go very deep in tournaments, the veteran will be desperate to change that at the BNP Paribas open. Kuznetsova started the week with a relatively comfortable straight set win over Johanna Larsson, before winning a topsy-turvy three set battle against Roberta Vinci. Kuznetsova confirmed her spot in the final 8 with an impressive 6-1 6-4 demolition of Caroline Garcia.
Svetlana Kuznetsova holds a 5-3 head-to-head record over Pavlyuchenkova. As mentioned above, Pavlyuchenkova has already beaten Kuznetsova twice this year, including a 6-3 6-3 win at the Australian Open in their most recent match.
I suspect Kuznetsova will avenge her two losses to Pavlyuchenkova here. Kuznetsova generally likes this match-up and the slower surface will suit Kuznetsova. It is unlikely that Kuznetsova will allow herself to be beaten by Pavlyuchenkova three times in such a short space of time, she is simply too good for that. I expect Kuznetsova to give very little away here and should be too solid on this occasion.