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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Angelique Kerber vs. Margarita Gasparyan, US Open R1 Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: R1 Preview
🇩🇪 (4) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇷🇺 Margarita Gasparyan

2016 US Open champion Angelique Kerber begins her 2018 Flushing Meadows campaign against Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan. Kerber enters this year’s US Open as one of the favourites, the reigning Wimbledon champion now has 3 Grand Slam titles to her name and has proven that she has what it takes to peak at these events. Whilst on paper this looks like a big mismatch, Gasparyan is very talented and heads into this match with nothing to lose. Can the flashy Russian cause a big upset?

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during her third-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Whilst Kerber is the most recent Grand Slam champion, she doesn’t necessarily arrive in New York in the greatest of form. Kerber played 2 events between Wimbledon and the US Open, winning just 1 match. Kerber was beaten in her first match in Montreal, a straight set loss to Alize Cornet. Kerber had a better week in Cincinnati, winning an important match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova from a set down but then went on to lose to Madison Keys from a set and a break up in a match that showed she is still a bit rusty at the moment.

Margarita Gasparyan arrives in New York in good shape. Gasparyan played her only U.S Open series event last week in New Haven where she won a couple of matches in the qualifying draw but fell at the final hurdle in her quest to reach the main draw. The Russian beat Hercog and Hsieh before falling to Puig in 3 sets. Not a bad result considering the week Puig went on to have in New Haven.

This will be the first career meeting between the pair. Gasparyan has a big game, if everything clicks for Gasparyan she will be no pushover.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Madison Keys, Cincinnati R3 Preview

🇺🇸 Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati R3 Preview
🇩🇪 (4) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇺🇸 (13) Madison Keys

Angelique Kerber and Madison will renew hostilities when they meet at the third round stage of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Kerber has dominated this match-up in the past, the German holds a convincing 7-1 record over the American and therefore enters this match as a strong favourite. Nevertheless, Kerber has looked vulnerable since her Wimbledon triumph so Keys is not without a chance here.

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during her second-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Angelique Kerber arrived in Cincinnati having not won a match since her Wimbledon triumph last month. It seemed like Kerber would leave Cincinnati winless when she dropped the opening set of her second round match with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, but Kerber rebounded to claim a hard-fought 4-6 7-5 6-4 victory. It was a topsy-turvy match, momentum swung wildly throughout. Ultimately it was Kerber who consistently found a better level in a high quality final set. A significant win for Kerber. Kerber received a bye through the opening round.

Madison Keys also survived a first-up scare in Cincinnati. Keys was down a set and a break against Bethanie Mattek-Sands in her opening round match but remained strong to bounce back and record a 3-6 7-6 6-4 win over a troublesome opponent. Keys produced a much better performance in her second round match as she easily defeated Camila Giorgi 6-2 6-2 to set up another clash with Kerber.

Kerber holds a 7-1 H2H record over Keys. Kerber has won all 6 of the previous meetings between the pair on a hard court, including a 6-1 6-2 thrashing at the Australian Open earlier this year in what was their most recent clash.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Serena Williams, Wimbledon Final Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon championships match preview
🇩🇪 (11) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇺🇸 (25) Serena Williams

After a tournament full of upsets we are left with a blockbuster final at SW19 as Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams renew hostilities. This is a heavyweight battle, Kerber will be aiming for a third Grand Slam title whilst Serena Williams will be playing to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles. This will be the third consecutive meeting between the pair in a Grand Slam final, Kerber famously got the better of Williams at the Australian Open in 2016 to win her first Grand Slam title whilst Williams won the Wimbledon final later that year. Who will edge ahead in their Grand Slam final battles with a win on Saturday?

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during the third round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Angelique Kerber is at the peak of her powers at the moment. The German may have made a slow start to the tournament in wins over Vera Zvonareva and Claire Liu but has bas been in ominous form since then. Kerber has navigated her way to a second Wimbledon final with straight set wins over 4 dangerous young opponents, beating Naomi Osaka (6-2 6-4), Belinda Bencic (6-3 7-6), Daria Kasatkina (6-3 7-5) and finally a commanding 6-1 6-3 victory over Jelena Ostapenko. Kerber has been extremely solid from the baseline in the second week of the tournament and importantly she has served very well. A 77% first serve percentage against Ostapenko meant the German was in control of her service games, a similar performance in the final will give her a great chance at victory.

It has taken Serena Williams little time to return to the top of the game. This time last year Serena was pregnant, it is truly remarkable what she has achieved, especially given how complicated her pregnancy was. Serena cruised through the first 4 rounds against inferior opposition, beating Arantxa Rus (7-5 6-3), Viktoriya Tomova (6-1 6-4), Kristina Mladenovic (7-5 7-6) and Evgeniya Rodina (6-2 6-2). It was at the quarter-final stage where Serena overcame her first big challenge, coming from a set to down to claim a 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory over Camila Giorgi. Serena really raised her level in an impressive 6-2 6-4 semi-final victory over Julia Goerges, arguably the highest level of tennis we have seen from Serena this year.

Serena Williams of the United States in action during her first round match at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

The signs are good for Kerber and Williams heading into this match. Kerber has ended her last 4 matches with a positive winner / unforced error ratio whilst Serena has had a better ratio in all of her matches except a rusty opening round performance. Expect a high quality encounter here!

Williams holds a 6-2 H2H record over Kerber. The pair have built up a really competitive rivalry over the last couple of years. The last 3 matches between the pair were in finals, a 7-6 6-3 win for Williams in the Stanford final in 2014, 6-4 3-6 6-4 win for Kerber at the Australian Open in 2016, most recently Williams defeated Kerber 7-5 6-3 in a very competitive Wimbledon final in 2016. This is a fascinating match-up as it sees the almighty Serena Williams, the most powerful and intimidating player out tour take on the best counter-puncher on tour.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Jelena Ostapenko, Wimbledon SF Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon semi-final preview
🇩🇪 (11) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇱🇻 (12) Jelena Ostapenko

Thursday’s first semi-final at SW19 sees the 11th seeded Angelique Kerber take on the 12th seeded Jelena Ostapenko. Surprisingly, this will be the first career meeting between Kerber and Ostapenko, an exciting match-up that features an extreme contrast in styles. This match-up will feature arguably the best counter-puncher in the world against one of the most aggressive players on tour, an exciting match-up between two former Grand Slam champions. Who will prevail?

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during her second-round match at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Angelique Kerber is through to her 7th career Grand Slam semi-final, her third at Wimbledon. Kerber’s level has steadily improved throughout the event. The German got off to a slow start with unimpressive wins over Vera Zvonareva and Claire Liu. Kerber brings great momentum into this semi-final clash after straight set wins over Naomi Osaka, Belinda Bencic and Daria Kasatkina. Kerber has made it to the pointy end of several big events in the last 6 months but has frequently failed at this hurdle, she will be keen to make amends here.

Jelena Ostapenko has steamrolled through the draw, reaching the final 4 without dropping a single set. The Latvian waltzed through the first week, comfortably beating Katie Dunne, Kirsten Flipkens and Vitalia Diatchenko. Ostapenko found herself trailing in matches against Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Dominika Cibulkova but on both occasions she recovered to win a tight opening set before taking control in the second. Ostapenko’s 7-5 6-4 win over Dominika Cibulkova in the quarter-finals was particularly impressive.

Kerber and Ostapenko both bring great form into this match, both are high on confidence and will fully expect to win this match. It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans in out in the first career meeting between the pair.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Daria Kasatkina, Wimbledon QF Preview

Wimbledon QF Preview
🇩🇪 (11) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇷🇺 (14) Daria Kasatkina

Angelique Kerber and Daria Kasatkina will renew their rivalry when they meet at the quarter-final stage at Wimbledon on Tuesday. Kerber and Kasatkina have built up a very competitive rivalry over the last couple of years, the head-to-head record between the pair is squared at 3 wins apiece heading into this clash, who will step up to edge ahead and reach the semi-finals at SW19?

Daria Kasatkina of Russia in action during the third round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Angelique Kerber is through to the quarter-final stage at Wimbledon for the 4th time in her career and is the highest seed left in the draw. Kerber made a slow start to the event with an unconvincing straight set win over Vera Zvonareva before beating pushed to 3 sets by Claire Lui. Ever since that scare against Lui, Kerber has raised her level, claiming a 6-2 6-4 win over Naomi Osaka and a 6-3 7-6 win over Belinda Bencic, two opponents that have troubled Kerber in the past. Kasatkina is another young player that has troubled Kerber in the past, another test for the German.

Daria Kasatkina is through to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the first time, making it to back-to-back grand Slam quarter-finals having reached the final 8 earlier this year at Roland Garros. Kasatkina cruised through her first couple of matches, beating Jana Fett and Yulia Putintseva in straight sets. Kasatkina made her biggest move in the first round where she upset the 17th seeded Ashleigh Barty in straight sets. The Russian secured her spot in the final 8 with a gutsy 6-7 6-3 6-2 win over Alison Van Uytvanck. It was a mature win, after wasting set point in the first set and going down an early break in the second it seemed it was not going to be Kasatkina’s day but she remained typically focused and came through in the end.

The H2H record between the pair is split at 3 wins apiece. The pair have met twice this year, Kasatkina thrashed Kerber 6-2 6-0 at Indian Wells, more recently Kerber claimed a 6-1 6-7 7-6 win at Eastbourne a few weeks ago in what was their only previous meeting on a grass court.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Belinda Bencic, Wimbledon R4 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R4 Preview
🇩🇪 (11) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇨🇭 Belinda Bencic

Angelique Kerber and Belinda Bencic will renew hostilities when they meet at the fourth round stage at Wimbledon on Monday. It is Bencic who has historically had the better of this match-up, Bencic holds a perfect 3-0 record over Kerber at the tour level but Kerber did beat Bencic earlier this year at the Hopman Cup. It is Kerber who heads into this match as a strong a favourite but Bencic will fancy her chances of causing an upset.

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during the third round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Angelique Kerber is into the second week at Wimbledon for the fourth time in the last 5 years. The German is a former runner-up at SW19 and is one of just 3 players left in the draw to have a Grand Slam heading into the round of 16. Kerber made a fairly unconvincing start to the tournament, beating Vera Zvonareva 7-5 6-3 before labouring to a 3 set win over Claire Lui. Kerber upped her level to claim a 6-2 6-4 win over Naomi Osaka and secure her spot in the fourth round.

Bencic has come through a tough draw to reach the second week at Wimbledon for the second time, the first time she has reached the second week at a Grand Slam since the Australian Open in 2016. Bencic started the event with a 7-6 6-3 victory over the 6th seeded Caroline Garcia. The 21-year-old claimed a dramatic second win, saving 4 match points on route to a 1-6 7-6 6-2 win over Alison Riske. Bencic secured her spot in the round of 16 with a 6-1 7-6 defeat of the 27th seeded Carla Suarez Navarro. The key theme throughout the first week for Bencic was her ability to get through every tough moment, a perfect 3-0 record in tiebreaks.

Bencic holds a 3-0 H2H record over Kerber at the tour level, all 3 victories were on a hard court. Their most recent meeting was at the Hopman Cup earlier this year where Kerber claimed a 6-4 6-1 win.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Naomi Osaka, Wimbledon R3 Preview

Wimbledon, R3 Preview
🇩🇪 (11) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇯🇵 (18) Naomi Osaka

Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka will renew hostilities when they do battle at the third round stage on Saturday at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Kerber and Osaka have built up a competitive rivalry over the last year, ever since Osaka stunned Kerber in the opening round at the US Open last year. Expect an entertaining match between two contrasting styles of tennis.

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during her second-round match at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Angelique Kerber has certainly not been at her best throughout her first couple of matches of the tournament, but that is often the case with Kerber early on at these big events. The former world number 1 started the event with a 7-5 6-3 win over Vera Zvonareva before having to work surprisingly hard for a 3-6 6-2 6-4 win over 18-year-old Claire Liu. Kerber has been touted as potential champion at Wimbledon overt the last few years without success, perhaps 2018 will be the year for the resurgent German?

Naomi Osaka is into the third round at Wimbledon for the second time in her career, equalling her previous best result from last year. Osaka is one of the most improved players on tour in 2018 and has been fairly untroubled in her first couple of matches this week. Osaka started the event with a 6-4 6-1 win over Monica Niculescu before defeating Katie Boulter 6-3 6-4. Osaka is looking more and more comfortable on grass, a surface that suits her game very well.

Kerber holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Osaka, all 3 of their previous meetings were in 2017. Osaka defeated Kerber 6-3 6-1 at the US Open last year in their first match before Kerber claimed back-to-back straight set wins in Tokyo and Beijing.

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