Caroline Wozniacki vs. Aryna Sabalenka, Eastbourne Final Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley International, Eastbourne Final Preview
🇩🇰 (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇧🇾 Aryna Sabalenka

The 2018 Nature Valley International champion will be crowned on Saturday when Caroline Wozniacki and Aryna Sabalenka go head-to-head in a fascinating final in Eastbourne. The top seeded Wozniacki will be playing for her 29th career title whilst Sabalenka will be looking to claim her very first WTA tour level title. This will be the first career meeting between the pair, a match-up that will feature a huge contrast in styles. Arguably the best defensive player the game has seen over the last decade up against the extremely power, rising star from Belarus.

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in action during the semifinal of the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Wozniacki is into her first final since winning a maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year. Wozniacki earned her spot in Saturday’s final with an extremely hard-fought 2-6 7-6 6-4 win over Angelique Kerber. The Dane saved match point in the second set as Kerber served for the match at 6-5 and always seemed destined to win after that moment in what was a very high quality match. Prior to that win Wozniacki defeated Camila Giorgi (6-2 6-3), Johanna Konta (4-6 6-1 6-4) and Ashleigh Barty (6-4 6-3).

Sabalenka has had the best week of her career thus far in Eastbourne and as a result she will rise to a career high ranking of at 32 in the world. Sabalenka has done things the hard way, winning all 5 of her matches this week in 3 sets. Sabalenka started the week with wins from a set down against Sachia Vickery and Julia Goerges before securing back-to- back wins via a third set tiebreak against Elise Mertens and Karolina Pliskova. Sabalenka booked her spot in a maiden premier level final with an extremely impressive 6-3 1-6 6-3 win over Agnieszka Radwanska. Sabalenka trailed 3-2 40-0 in the deciding set before cantering to the finish line with a blistering display of power tennis, Radwanska could do nothing to stop her.

There is no doubt that Sabalenka’s best tennis is good enough to make this a very competitive final. However, it has been a long week for the Belarusian and she is in unprecedented territory, can Sabalenka produce one last superb performance to claim the title in Eastbourne?

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Caroline Wozniacki vs. Angelique Kerber, Eastbourne SF Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley International, Eastbourne SF Preview
🇩🇰 (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇩🇪 (4) Angelique Kerber

Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber will renew hostilities when they meet in Friday’s second semi-final at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne. This is typically one of the more even match-ups on tour, there is little to separate these two, both have very similar strengths and similar weaknesses. Expect a close one here, both are in great form this week and will give little away cheaply.

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action during her third round match at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Wozniacki has navigated her way through a tough draw to reach the semi-final stage in Eastbourne. The Dane started the week with a fairly comfortable straight set win over Camila Giorgi in what seemed like a danger-game on paper. The top seed faced her biggest test at the third round stage where she came from a set down to defeat Britain’s Johanna Konta, a 4-6 6-1 6-4 victory. Wozniacki secured her spot in the final 4 with a fairly straightforward 6-4 6-3 win over Ashleigh Barty. Overall it has been a good week for Wozniacki thus far, all 3 of her previous opponents posed a serious threat heading into the match.

Kerber’s pathway to the final 4 has not been quite as tough, but it hasn’t been easy. The German started the event with an impressive 6-3 6-3 victory over Dominika Cibulkova. The German then went on to thrash Danielle Collins, claiming a 6-1 6-1 victory in under an hour. It was at the quarter-final stage where Kerber received her biggest test, the German stood up to the challenge to secure a 6-1 6-7 7-6 victory over Daria Kasatkina, an opponent that has troubled the German in recent times. Kerber looked set for another disappointing loss to Kasatkina when she trailed 2-4 15-40* in the third set. However, it was good to see Kerber raise her intensity and will herself to victory.

These two have a long history. It is Kerber who holds a slender advantage over the Dane, an 8-6 H2H record for the German. The most recent match between the pair took place earlier this year in Doha, Wozniacki claimed a hard-fought 7-6 1-6 6-3 victory. The pair have only previously played once on grass, ending in a 3-6 7-6 6-3 victory for Kerber in Eastbourne in 2014, coincidentally at the semi-final stage.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs. Ashleigh Barty, Eastbourne QF Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley International, Eastbourne QF Preview
🇩🇰 (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇦🇺 (8) Ashleigh Barty

A fascinating quarter-final match-up in Eastbourne on Thursday sees the top seeded Caroline Wozniacki takes on the eighth seeded Ashleigh Barty. This looms as a big test for Wozniacki, Barty has proven that she is one of the best players on tour on a grass court, Wozniacki will need to be at her best to navigate her way through to the semi-finals at the Nature Valley International.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia in action during her third round match at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Wozniacki overcame a stern challenge from Johanna Konta to advance to the quarter-finals in Eastbourne. The Dane battled to a 4-6 6-1 6-4 win over Konta, a confidence boosting win for Wozniacki in her first tournament on grass in 2018. Wozniacki claimed a comfortable 6-2 6-3 win over Camila Giorgi in her other match this week.

Barty has cruised into the quarter-finals in Eastbourne. The Aussie number 1 has been relatively untroubled, claiming comfortable straight set wins over Kristina Mladenovic (6-3 6-2) and Su-Wei Hsieh (6-2 6-4). Barty’s record on grass in 2018 is now 10-1, her all-court game is perfect for this surface.

Wozniacki holds a 2-0 H2H record over Barty. The pair most recently met in Madrid where Wozniacki won 6-2 4-6 6-4, Barty was in a winning position in the final set but couldn’t get over the line.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs. Johanna Konta, Eastbourne R3 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley International, Eastbourne R3 Preview
🇩🇰 (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇬🇧 (13) Johanna Konta

The pick of the third round matches at the Nature Valley Intentional in Eastbourne on Wednesday sees the top seeded Caroline Wozniacki take on the 13th seed and British number 1: Johanna Konta. The Britt comfortably defeated Wozniacki in their only two previous encounters. However, the reigning Australian Open champion will fancy her chances of a maiden win over Konta, it is Wozniacki who has generally been in far better form in 2018.

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Wozniacki was the runner-up in Eastbourne 12 months ago, she will be hoping to go one step further in 2018. The top seed is starting her grass court campaign this week in Eastbourne, the 27-year-old made a decent start to the tournament with a commanding 6-2 6-3 win over the potentially-dangerous Camila Giorgi.

Johanna Konta has already played quite a bit of tennis on grass over the last few weeks. Konta started her grass court campaign a few weeks ago where she was beaten in the final by Ash Barty in 3 sets. Konta received a brutal draw in Birmingham, beaten by eventual champion: Petra Kvitova in the first round. Konta is defending semi-finalist points at Wimbledon so the pressure is really starting to mount on the Britt.

Konta holds a 2-0 H2H record over Wozniacki. Konta easily disposed of Wozniacki in their two prior matches, both in 2017, a 6-3 6-1 win at the Australian Open and a 6-4 6-3 win in Miami. Wozniacki is a different player now and will be keen to show that in this match-up.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs. Pauline Parmentier, Roland Garros R3 Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, R3 Preview
🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇫🇷 Pauline Parmentier

Caroline Wozniacki and Pauline Parmentier will renew hostilities when they meet at the third round stage at Roland Garros on Friday. Wozniacki has once again benefited from a very favourable draw and has cruised through her first few matches in Paris, conversely Parmentier has battled from a set down against fellow Frenchwomen to reach the third round at her home slam for the third time. Can the Frenchwoman cause a big upset in front of the vocal Parisian crowd?

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action during her second-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Roland Garros has historically been Wozniacki’s least successful slam, the Dane has reached the second week in Paris on just 2 previous occasions but will be a strong favourite to make that three times when she takes on Parmentier. Wozniacki has been typically solid in her first few matches in Paris, beating Danielle Collins 7-6 6-1 and Georgina Garcia Perez 6-0 6-1. Wozniacki has certainly fallen into a favourable section in the draw and she rarely slips up in these circumstances.

Pauline Parmentier is in great form at the moment. It was a few months ago where Parmentier claimed her first title in almost 10 years as she won the Istanbul Cup. Parmentier is now into the third round Paris for the third time after back-to-back 3 set wins. The 32-year-old started the week with a 3-6 7-6 6-2 win over Chloe Paquet followed by a courageous 6-7 6-4 6-2 win over Alize Cornet. Parmentier will enter her third round match with Wozniacki having nothing to lose but a lot to gain, a potentially dangerous combination.

Wozniacki won all 3 of the completed matches between the pair, most recently Parmentier did push the Dane to 3 sets in Bastad last year. The pair did play in Istanbul earlier this year where the scores were level at a set apiece before Wozniacki retired injured.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs. Kiki Bertens, Madrid R3 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R3 Preview
🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇳🇱 Kiki Bertens

Kiki Bertens will be looking for a first career victory over Caroline Wozniacki when the pair meet at the third round stage of the Mutua Madrid Open on Wednesday. Wozniacki holds a perfect 3-0 record over Bertens but this will be their first career meeting on a clay court, Bertens preferred surface and Wozniacki’s least preferred surface. Can Bertens use her clay court craft to claim an upset win?

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Bertens has cruised past two decent opponents to reach the third round in Madrid. Bertens started the week with a 6-4 6-4 win over Maria Sakkari before beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-1 6-4, two good wins over solid opponents that don’t give much away for free.

Caroline Wozniacki cruised past Daria Gavrilova in the opening round, winning 6-3 6-1 but was forced to work extremely hard for a 6-2 4-6 6-4 win over Ashleigh Barty. Wozniacki was on the verge of defeat in the third set when she trailed 2-4 30-40 but it was Wozniacki who remained tough under pressure to win the last 4 games of the match.

Wozniacki has won all three of the previous matches between the pair in straight sets. The most recent match between the pair took place at the Australian Open earlier this year where the Dane won 6-4 6-3.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs Daria Kasatkina, Indian Wells R4 Preview

BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells R4 Preview
🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇷🇺 (20) Daria Kasatkina

Caroline Wozniacki and Daria Kasatkina will renew hostilities when they meet at the fourth round stage of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday evening. Wozniacki has obviously been one of the top performers in 2018 and will head into this match as the favourite. However, Kasatkina is also in great form and beat Wozniacki last month in St. Petersburg in straight sets.

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Caroline Wozniacki laboured into the fourth round on Monday. Wozniacki was forced to work surprisingly hard to get past Aliaksandra Sasnovich, the second seed eventually claimed a hard-fought 6-4 2-6 6-3 victory over the Belarussian. Prior to Wozniacki’s third round win she defeated Lara Arruabarrena 6-4 6-1 after she had received a bye through the opening round. Wozniacki commented after her win over Sasnovich that she finds the Indian Wells surface very challenging because it is so slow and high bouncing, not the ideal conditions for the Dane who can be exposed on a surface like this.

Kasatkina is a player that certainly benefits from the unique conditions in Indian Wells. Kasatkina started the event with a straight set win over Katerina Siniakova before claiming an impressive 6-4 6-3 over Sloane Stephens. Kasatkina has the type of game that is benefited by the slow, high bouncing courts in Indian Wells. Those who play with heavy topspin are at an advantage on this surface, the Kasatkina forehand is a very heavy shot and was very effective in her victory over Sloane Stephens.

The head-to-head record between Wozniacki and Kasatkina is split at 1 win apiece. Wozniacki defeated Kasatkina 6-2 7-5 last year in Doha whilst more recently it was Kasatkina who claimed a 7-6 6-3 win at the quarter-final stage in St. Petersburg last month, can Kasatkina replicate that result and send the second seed packing?

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Simona Halep vs Caroline Wozniacki, Australian Open Final Preview

Australian Open, 🇦🇺🏆 Final Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs 🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki

A blockbuster championship battle will take place on Saturday night as world number 1 Simona Halep takes on world number 2 Caroline Wozniacki in the Australian Open final. This is huge! Both ladies are playing to win an eagerly awaited maiden Grand Slam title, the winner will also secure the world number 1 ranking. Halep and Wozniacki have both come through great adversity to reach their first Australian Open finals, both have saved multiple match points on route to this stage. Halep and Wozniacki are the two greatest players in the game to have never won a Grand Slam title, both will be competing in their third Grand Slam final, for one of them it will be third time lucky.

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Simona Halep is having a career defining couple of weeks at Melbourne Park. Halep has had to overcome so much pain to get through to her first Australian Open final. The world number 1 severely rolled her ankle in her opening round victory before surviving an almost 4 hour epic that went to 15-13 in the final set against Lauren Davis. Since that troublesome match with Davis, Halep has been in imperious form. Halep crushed Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova in straight sets to set up an epic semi-final with Angelique Kerber.

Halep outlasted Kerber 6-3 4-6 9-7 in what was the greatest match of the tournament thus far. Halep ended the match with a whopping 50 winners, an outstanding number against the best defender on tour. Halep failed to convert at couple of match points at 4-5 in the third set before saving a pair of match points at 5-6. The final set featured several scintillating rallies as both players gave their absolute all on court. In the end, it was Halep who outlasted Kerber, perhaps the best win of Halep’s career.

Caroline Wozniacki has also had to overcome her fair share of adversity on route to her first Australian Open final. Wozniacki came from 1-5 15-40 down in the final set of her second round match with Jana Fett, a second chance in the tournament for Wozniacki. The Dane has made the most of her second life, claiming a couple of straight set wins over Kiki Bertens and Magdalena Rybarikova before beating Carla Suarez Navarro in 3 sets to set up a semi-final with Elise Mertens. Apart from a shaky ending to the match, Wozniacki easily accounted for Elise Mertens, winning 6-3 7-6.

It is Wozniacki who has generally had the better of Halep in this match-up, Wozniacki holds a 4-2 record over the Romanian and has won the last 3 meetings between the pair. The most recent match between the two took place in Singapore last year, Wozniacki easily accounted for Halep, winning 6-0 6-2.

Caroline Wozniacki vs Elise Mertens, Australian Open SF Preview

Australian Open, 🇦🇺 Semi-Final Preview
🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs 🇧🇪 Elise Mertens

Caroline Wozniacki and Elise Mertens will meet in the first semi-final of the day on Thursday at Melbourne Park. Wozniacki is now one step away from reaching her first Australian Open final, her third Grand Slam final overall and is two steps away from finally claiming a maiden Grand Slam title. In Wozniacki’s way is an in form Elise Mertens who will be competing in her first Grand Slam semi-final in what is her first ever appearance in the main draw at Melbourne Park. Whilst on paper this may look like an easy match-up for Wozniacki, Mertens is playing the best tennis of her life at the moment, if the Belgian can carry her quarter-final form into this match she will be a huge threat to the Dane.

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Caroline Wozniacki has never had a greater opportunity to win her first Grand Slam title. The Dane has improved her game in all area’s and may finally be ready to step up and make the most of this opportunity. Wozniacki received a second life in the tournament in the second round where she saved match point and came from 1-5 down in the deciding set to beat Jana Fett. Since that match, Wozniacki has been much improved. The world number 2 defeated Kiki Bertens and Magdalena Rybarikova in straight sets before confirming her spot in the semi-finals with a 6-0 6-7 6-2 win over Carla Suarez Navarro.

Elise Mertens is riding a huge way of momentum, the Belgian has now won 10 matches in a row having arrived in Melbourne fresh off a title run in Hobart. Mertens has stormed into her first Grand Slam semi-final without dropping a set at Melbourne Park. Mertens strolled through to the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time with straight set wins over Viktoria Kuzmova, Daria Gavrilova and Alize Cornet. In the fourth round Mertens came through a nervy clash against Petra Martic before producing her best performance of the tournament thus far to thrash Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-0 in what was the best match the Belgian has played in her career. Mertens executed an ultra-aggressive game against Svitolina, playing a huge percentage of point inside the baseline, consistently punishing Svitolina with her powerful, dynamic game.

It was Wozniacki who won the only previous match between the pair, a hard-fought 7-5 4-6 6-2 victory on clay in Bastad last year. That match showed that Mertens does have the game to really challenge Wozniacki, if Mertens can bring her best tennis to Thursday’s semi-final match in Melbourne she may well cause another big upset.

Caroline Wozniacki vs Carla Suarez Navarro, Australian Open QF Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 Quarter-Final Preview
🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs 🇪🇸 Carla Suarez Navarro

Caroline Wozniacki and Carla Suarez Navarro will go head-to-head at the quarter-final stage of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Tuesday. Wozniacki is edging closer and closer to a maiden Grand Slam title, the former world number 1 is widely regarded as the best player to never win a Grand Slam and will be desperate to change that over the next week. Suarez Navarro will also have dreams of winning a Grand Slam, the Spaniard has reached the final 8 of a Grand Slam on 5 previous occasions but is still looking to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final. Will Wozniacki’s recent dominance of Carla continue or can the Spaniard extent Wozniacki’s Grand Slam misery?

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Caroline Wozniacki has been ruthless ever since she saved match points in her second round win over Jana Fett. Wozniacki received a lifeline at Melbourne Park after she trailed Jana Fett 1-5 15-40 but survived courtesy of the Croatian tightening up. Wozniacki is seemingly playing with more freedom since that win over Fett. The former world number 1 beat Kiki Bertens 6-4 6-3 before thrashing Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3 6-0 to confirm her spot in the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the third time in her career. If ever Wozniacki is going to win a Grand Slam it is now, can the Dane make the most of this opportunity?

Carla Suarez Navarro is into the quarter-final stage at Melbourne Park for the third time in her career, making the Australian Open Carla’s most successful Grand Slam event, which is surprising given clay has always been the Spaniard’s favourite surface. Suarez Navarro arrived in Melbourne in poor form but has displayed her trademark determination to fight through the draw. Suarez Navarro started the event with a tight 2 set win over Magdalena Frech before beating Timea Babos in 3 sets. The world number 40 has come from a set down over a pair of huge hitters to reach the final 8, beating Kaia Kanepi 3-6 6-1 6-3 before beating Anett Kontaveit 4-6 6-4 8-6. Carla Fought from a set and 1-4 down in her win over Kontaveit and came from a break down in the final set, a huge win for Carla.

Wozniacki holds a fairly commanding 5-2 head-to-head record over Suarez Navarro. Wozniacki has won all 3 of the previous matches between the pair but it was Carla who won their most recent match, a 6-4 2-6 6-2 on clay in Madrid last year.