Angelique Kerber vs. Kristina Mladenovic, US Open R1 Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, R1 match preview
🇩🇪 (14) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic

Angelique Kerber will kick-start her 2019 US Open campaign with a first round clash against France’s Kristina Mladenovic. Kerber arrives in New York in the midst of a form slump, Kerber has lost 3 consecutive matches and hasn’t won a match on a hard court since Monterrey in April. Nevertheless, Kerber is a former US Open champions, a 3-time Grand Slam singles champion and former world number 1, she is still one of the major threats at this years championships in New York.

Angelique Kerber will fancy her chances against Kristina Mladenovic but will need to improve on her recent form to contend for the title at Flushing Meadows. Kerber hasn’t won a match since her shock second round exit at Wimbledon at the hands of Lauren Davis where she was defending the title. The Us Open series hasn’t gone to plan for Kerber who was beaten by Daria Kasatkina in 3 sets at the Rogers Cups, more recently the German was beaten by Anett Kontaveit in straight sets in Cincinnati. Kerber has shown in the past that she can regain her form at a major, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see that happen over the next few weeks.

Kristina Mladenovic also arrives in New York fresh from back-to-back opening round losses in Toronto and Cincinnati. Mladenovic has somewhat turned into a double specialist in 2019, it is on the doubles court where Mladenovic enjoys far more success. On the singles court, Mladenovic’s weaknesses are frequently exposed. Unfrequently for Mladenovic, Kerber looms as an opponent that will not have a hard time exposing the Mladenovic weaknesses.

Kerber holds a 4-1 head-to-head record over Mladenovic, the German has won all 4 of the previous meetings between the pair on a hard court, including a commanding 6-2 6-2 victory in Beijing last year in what was their most recent clash.

Despite her recent poor form, I don’t see Kerber having many problems in this match-up. Kerber is simply too solid for Mladenovic, especially on a hard court. Kerber’s has no problems picking on the Mladenovic backhand, she can expose Mladenovic’s backhand from anywhere in the court, Kerber’s defense also causes Mladenovic all types of problems, Kerber is one of the best players on tour at playing passing shots which takes away one of Mladenovic’s greatest assets. Furthermore, Kerber’s strong return of serve will likely cause the extremely vulnerable Mladenovic serve to crumble.

Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Kristina Mladenovic in 2 sets

Angelique Kerber vs. Donna Vekic, Stuttgart R1 Preview

🇩🇪🏁 Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart R1 Preview
🇩🇪 (5) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Angelique Kerber begins her Stuttgart campaign with an opening round clash against Croatia’s Donna Vekic. Kerber is a two-time former champion in Stuttgart having won back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016. The German will be keen to add a third Stuttgart title to her collection to belatedly open her title count for 2019. Donna Vekic will have other ideas and is always a danger on her day, can Vekic cause a big upset?

Donna Vekic of Croatia during practice ahead of her opening round match-up with Angelique Kerber at the 2019 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix WTA Premier tennis tournament. 

Kerber has made a very solid start to 2019 and will now be focused on improved results during the clay court swing, a time of the year that the German usually struggles. Kerber arrives in Stuttgart on the back of a semi-final showing in Monterrey, a few weeks prior to that Kerber reached the final in Indian Wells, so her form is good. The quick clay court conditions in Stuttgart have traditionally suited Kerber nicely and she will be keen to once again impress in front of the vocal home crowd.

Donna Vekic’s recent from has not been very impressive at all. The Croatian will be hoping for a form reversal in Stuttgart, a win over Angelique Kerber would be the perfect way to kick-start a form reversal. Vekic has only won a single match in the last few months having lost in the opening round at Indian Wells and the second round in Miami. The quick clay court conditions in Stuttgart should also help Vekic on a surface she usually struggles on.

Kerber has won both of the previous meetings between the pair, both in straight sets, 6-4 7-6 at the Rogers Cup in 2017 and 6-4 6-1 at the Australian Open last year. This will be their first meeting on a clay court.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Bianca Andreescu, Indian Wells Final Preview

🇺🇸🌵🏆 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – Final Preview
🇩🇪 (8) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇨🇦 (WC) Bianca Andreescu

Angelique Kerber and Bianca Andreescu will both be playing in a premier mandatory level final for the very first time when they meet in Sunday’s final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Whilst this is an opportunity at a maiden premier mandatory title for both, there is obviously a huge gulf in class between the pair heading into this match. Kerber is a 3-time Grand Slam champion and former world number 1 whilst Andreescu’s greatest triumph came at the WTA 125K level, this is easily the biggest match of Andreescu’s young career.

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during her semi-final at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Angelique Kerber has had a topsy-turvy week in the Californian desert to reach her first BNP Paribas Open final. Kerber certainly hasn’t always been at her best but is peaking at the right time as she looks to claim her first title of the season. Kerber came through a couple of sloppy matches midway through the event against Vikhlyantseva and Sabalenka but has really upped her game in her last few matches in impressive straight set wins over Venus Williams and Belinda Bencic to bring a heap of momentum in Sunday’s final.

Angelique Kerber’s route to the final:

R1: (BYE)
R2: Putintseva 6-0 6-2
R3: (Q) Vikhlyantseva 3-6 6-1 6-3
R4: (9) Sabalenka 6-1 4-6 6-4
QF: V. Williams 7-6 6-3
SF: (23) Bencic 6-4 6-2

Bianca Andreescu continues to defy the odds. Andreescu’s run to the final in Indian Wells is amazing when considering that this is her first time competing in a WTA premier mandatory event. Andreescu has won a whopping 27 matches in 2019, more than any other player on tour. Importantly, Andreescu has beaten several top level players, including wins over Dominika Cibulkova, Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina this week. Andreescu’s semi-final win over Elina Svitolina was particularly impressive given how hard she had to work for that win against a tough opponent.

Bianca Andreescu of Canada in action during her semi-final at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Bianca Andreescu’s route to the final:

R1: Begu 6-7 6-3 6-3
R2: (32) Cibulkova 6-2 6-2
R3: (Q) Voegele 6-1 6-2
R4: (18) Q. Wang 7-5 6-2
QF: (20) Muguruza 6-0 6-1
SF: (6) Svitolina 6-3 2-6 6-4

This will be the first career meeting between Kerber and Andreescu. It will be interesting to see how the 18-year-old’s game stacks up against the might of Angelique Kerber and also whether the Canadian can handle the occasion in the biggest match of her career.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Belinda Bencic, Indian Wells SF Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – SF Preview
🇩🇪 (8) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇨🇭 (23) Belinda Bencic

A blockbuster semi-final clash from the Californian desert sees Angelique Kerber take on Belinda Bencic with a place in the BNP Paribas Open final up for grabs. Belinda Bencic is arguably the hottest player on tour at the moment as she enters this clash on an 11-match winning streak. Bencic also enters this match with a winning record over Kerber at the tour level, however the German is a proven champion who becomes increasingly difficult to beat at the business end of big tournaments.

Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Angelique Kerber is through to the semi-final stage in Indian Wells for the third time. Kerber’s route to the final 4 hasn’t always been easy. Kerber received a bye through the opening round before cruising past Yulia Putintseva 6-0 6-2. Kerber was forced to dig deep in her next couple of matches as she required 3 sets to get the better of Natalia Vikhlyantseva and Aryna Sabalenka. Kerber produced arguably her best performance of the season thus far in a 7-6 6-3 victory over Venus Williams to confirm her spot in the final 4.

Belinda Bencic is on a roll. Bencic arrived in Indian Wells fresh from winning the title in Dubai and has continued her winnings ways in Indian Wells to extend her unbeaten run to 11 matches. Bencic received a bye through the first round before cruising through her first few matches with straight set wins over Alison Van Uytvanck and Ekaterina Alexandrova. Bencic’s most impressive performance came at the fourth round stage where she claimed a surprisingly easy 6-3 6-1 win over Naomi Osaka. Bencic secured her spot in the final 4 for the first time in Indian Wells with a hard-fought 6-3 4-6 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova.

Belinda Bencic holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Angelique Kerber at the tour level. However, Kerber has also beaten Bencic in the last couple of years at the Hopman Cup. Overall, the head-to-head record is 3-3 and Kerber has won their last 3 matches. Their most recent match was the Hopman Cup a few months ago where Kerber won 6-4 7-6.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Venus Williams, Indian Wells QF Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – QF Preview
🇩🇪 (8) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇺🇸 Venus Williams

A blockbuster quarter-final clash from the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday evening sees Angelique Kerber take on Venus Williams, a match-up featuring two former world number 1’s and a combined 10 Grand Slam singles titles. Whilst the pair have both achieved so much, neither have previously won the title in Indian Wells, therefore we can assume both are hellbent on changing that fact over the next few days in the Californian desert.

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during her fourth-round match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Angelique Kerber has come through a couple of tricky matches to reach the quarter-final stage at Indian for the fourth time. Kerber received a bye through round 1 and started the event with a commanding 6-0 6-2 win over Yulia Putintseva before coming from behind to beat Natalia Vikhlyantseva 3-6 6-1 6-3. Kerber’s greater test came at the fourth round stage where she fought from a double break down in the deciding set to defeat Aryna Sabalenka 6-1 4-6 6-4.

Venus Williams has surpassed expectations this week given her mediocre form heading into the event. Williams started her BNP Paribas Open campaign with a lethargic 3 set win over Andrea Petkovic. It was in the second round that Williams dug deep and claimed her biggest scalp, Williams fought from a set and a break down to beat the third seeded Petra Kvitova 4-6 7-5 6-4. Venus has been relatively untroubled in her last few matches, beating Christina McHale and Mona Barthel in straight sets.

Kerber holds a 5-3 head-to-head record over Williams. The most recent match between the pair took place in Sydney last year, Kerber won that match 5-7 6-3 6-1. On hard courts, Kerber has a slight 3-2 head-to-head advantage.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Aryna Sabalenka, Indian Wells R4 Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R4 Preview
🇩🇪 (8) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇧🇾 (9) Aryna Sabalenka

The pick of the fourth round clashes from the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday sees Angelique Kerber take on Aryna Sabalenka for the very first time. This is an intriguing match-up that sees a 3-time Grand Slam champion and former world number 1 take on the tours most exciting young player who has already established herself in the top 10. Can the powerful Belarusian blast Kerber off the court?

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during her third-round match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Aryna Sabalenka has struggled in recent times to consistently produce the stunning level of tennis that she produced for much of 2018. The signs have been fairly good thus far Sabalenka in Indian Wells as she has booked her spot in the fourth round for the first time. Sabalenka received a bye through the first round before battling past Ajla Tomljanovic in 3 sets. Sabalenka secured her spot in the fourth round with a solid 6-2 7-5 victory over Lesia Tsurenko. Sabalenka will need to step up her level if she is to advance any further in the Californian desert as Kerber will be her first major test.

Angelique Kerber has made a decent start to the season and a decent start to her BNP Paribas Open campaign. Kerber will be hoping she can take things to the next level over the next week as she looks to win her first title of 2019 and her first title in Indian Wells. Kerber started the tournament with a commanding 6-0 6-2 victory over Yulia Putintseva before being really pushed in a 3-6 6-1 6-3 win over Natalia Vikhlyantseva, perhaps the battle Kerber needed to take her game to the next level this week.

This is a fascinating match-up because of the contrast in styles, especially given this will be the first meeting between the pair. Sabalenka is one of the most powerful and aggressive players at the top of the game whilst Kerber is the best counter-puncher on tour, this is the ultimate test for Sabalenka.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Su-Wei Hsieh, Dubai R3 Preview

🇦🇪🐪 Dubai DFTC – R3 Preview
🇩🇪 (5) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇹🇼 Su-Wei Hsieh

Angelique Kerber and Su-Wei Hsieh will renew hostilities when they collide at the third round stage of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday. Kerber has made a decent start to the season and is seemingly on the cusp of breaking through to the next level, perhaps this week in Dubai?

IAngelique Kerber of Germany celebrates winning her second-round match at the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Kerber arrived in Dubai on the back of a decent week in Doha where she won a couple of good matches on route to the semi-final stage where she succumbed to the eventual champion Elsie Mertens. Kerber started her Dubai campaign with a topsy-turvy straight set win over Dalila Jakupovic. Kerber overcame a 1-5 deficit in the opening set on route to a 7-6 6-3 victory.

Hsieh has cruised through her first couple of matches in Dubai over solid opponents. Hsieh started the week with a 6-4 6-2 upset win over the 10th seeded Anastasija Sevastova before thrashing Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-1 6-2. Hsieh will need to take her game to an even higher level on Wednesday in Dubai if she is to claim her first career win over Kerber.

Kerber has won both of the previous matches between the pair, but both of those wins were difficult, both wins were from a set down. The most recent match between the pair took place at the Australian Open last year where Kerber won 4-6 7-5 6-2 in a very high quality match.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Sloane Stephens, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, Red group match preview
🇩🇪 (1) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇺🇸 (5) Sloane Stephens

The final red group match in Singapore sees the top seeded Angelique Kerber take on the a red-hot Sloane Stephens in what will be one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament thus far. Stephens tops the group heading into this match having won her first few matches whilst Kerber has 1 win and 1 loss to her name this week. Stephens has had the better of this match-up of late and will be confident in claiming a 5th consecutive win over the German.

Sloane Stephens of the United States in action during her second match at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Angelique Kerber made a disappointing start to the tournament where she lost from a set and 2-0 up against Kiki Bertens. Kerber responded in a typically gutsy fashion with a fighting 3 set win over Naomi Osaka. Kerber was seemingly struggling with a back injury throughout the later stages of her win with Osaka but she was able to dig deep and tough out a win. Kerber’s ability to absorb the pace of Osaka was key and she also played aggressive tennis more often than she usually would. It will be interesting to see how Kerber responds against Stephens.

Sloane Stephens enters this match full of confidence having won her first couple of matches in the red group. Stephens required 3 lengthy sets to claim victories over Naomi Osaka and Kiki Bertens to almost guarantee her place in the semi-finals in her WTA Finals debut. The attitude of Stephens throughout her first few matches has been most impressive, it is clear that Stephens means business this week and when that is the case she is one of the toughest players on tour to defeat.

Stephens holds a commanding 4-1 head-to-head record over Kerber. It was Kerber who won the first meeting between the pair in 2012, since then Stephens has won 4 consecutive matches, all in straight sets. The most recent match between the pair was at the quarter-final stage in Miami earlier this year, Stephens won very comfortably 6-1 6-2.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Naomi Osaka, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, Red Group match preview
🇩🇪 (1) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇯🇵 (3) Naomi Osaka

Two of the pre-tournament favourites will collide in a must win match from the red group when Angelique Kerber takes on Naomi Osaka on Wednesday. Kerber and Osaka both suffered surprising 3-set losses to start their Singapore campaigns meaning the loser of this match is all but eliminated whilst the winner still has a good chance to progress to the semi-finals. Kerber has had the better of this match-up but Osaka has generally been in the better form of the two, this looks like a close one to call.

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during her first match at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

The top seeded Angelique Kerber arrived in Singapore in fairly poor form but was seemingly on track to start her Singapore campaign with a big win. It wasn’t to be as Kerber let a 6-1 2-0 lead slide in a 6-1 3-6 4-6 loss to Singapore debutant Kiki Bertens. Kerber was uncharacteristically errant in the big moments and really struggled behind her serve towards the later stages of the match. Kerber will be keen to rebound against Osaka, an opponent she has done well against in recent times.

Naomi Osaka was the form player heading into this event and the outright favourite to win the tournament. However, Osaka made a disappointing start in her Singapore debut, beaten by Sloane Stephens 5-7 6-4 1-6. Osaka was never able to find a high level on a consistent basis and produced an extremely poor serving performance. Osaka faced a whopping 19 break points and was broken on 7 occasions, far, far from the type of numbers we are used to seeing from Osaka over the last few months. Osaka will need a drastic improvement against a problematic opponent when she faces Kerber.

Kerber holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Osaka. It was Osaka who shocked Kerber in their first career meeting at the US Open in 2017. Since then Kerber has won their last 3 matches, all in straight sets. Their most recent match took place at Wimbledon earlier this year, Kerber won that match 6-2 6-4.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Kiki Bertens, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, Red Group match preview
🇩🇪 (1) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇳🇱 (8) Kiki Bertens

The top seeded Angelique Kerber begins her Singapore campaign on Monday night against WTA Finals debutant Kiki Bertens. On paper this is the greatest mismatch of all the group stage matches but Kerber has not been in the greatest form of late and the newly crowned most improved player on the year Kiki Bertens is having the greatest season of her career. Can Bertens pull off the upset?

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action during the first round at the 2018 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Angelique Kerber is the top seeded player in the draw and the player with the most Grand Slam titles to her name (3). However, Kerber’s form since winning Wimbledon earlier this year has not been great which has been true of her tendency to struggle after winning a major title. Kerber has achieved a modest 5-5 win/loss record since Wimbledon and has to be desperate to recapture her early season form to end another memorable season on a high.

Kiki Bertens is essentially playing with house money in Singapore. Bertens was part of the late dash for spots in Singapore as she competed in Moscow last week. Bertens seemingly blew her chance of qualifying when she was defeated in the first round by Aliaksandra Sasnovich but the withdrawal of Simona Halep handed Bertens a spot in the elite 8. Bertens has also been in modest form of late having won 4 of her last 8 matches, more importantly Bertens has been beaten by players she would expect to beat.

Kerber holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Bertens. The most recent match between the two took place at Roland Garros earlier this year where Kerber claimed a tight straight set win.

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