Kiki Bertens vs. Amanda Anisimova, Rome R2 Preview

#IBI19 Rome R2 Preview
🇳🇱 (6) Kiki Bertens vs. 🇺🇸 (LL) Amanda Anisimova

Kiki Bertens begins her Rome campaign with a second round clash against Amanda Anisimova. Bertens arrives in Rome on a high having won the title in Madrid last week and is looming as one of the favourites heading into the second Grand Slam of the year. Bertens will be keen to continue her strong form in Rome and enters this match as a clear favourite.

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action during her semi-final match at the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament on route to winning the title. 

Kiki Bertens is the form player on tour at the moment having won the biggest title of her career at the Mutua Madrid Open last week which meant she climbed to a career high ranking of number 4 in the world. Bertens won the title in Madrid in style as she went through the tournament without dropping a set, the first player to ever achieve that feat. Bertens beat quality players such as Petra Kvitova, Sloane Stephens and Simona Halep on route to the title. Clay has always been Bertens’ best surface and suddenly she is looming as a genuine contender to win Roland Garros in a few weeks’ time, she could perhaps even be the favourite.

Unlike Bertens, clay is not a surface Anisimova is comfortable on. Anisimova did win her first career title on the red dirt in Bogota last month but I’m not convinced by her game on this surface. Anisimova suffered a shock loss in the opening round of qualifying in Madrid to Marta Kostyuk and stumbled at the final qualifying stage in Rome to Kristina Mladenovic but received a main draw wild card. Anisimova went on to defeat Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-3 6-3 in the opening round to set up a clash with Bertens.

This will be the first career meeting between Bertens and Anisimova.

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Kiki Bertens vs. Garbine Muguruza, Indian Wells R4 Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R4 Preview
🇳🇱 (7) Kiki Bertens vs. 🇪🇸 (20) Garbine Muguruza

An intriguing fourth round clash from the Californian desert sees the 7th seeded Kiki Bertens take on the 20th seeded Garbine Muguruza. This promises to be an exciting contest between two powerful opponents who are both well suited to the conditions in Indian Wells. Can Muguruza recapture her top form to take down Bertens?

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action during her third-round match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Kiki Bertens is continuing to impress and continuing to improve. Bertens is now on the verge of cracking into the world’s top 5 for the first time, a few more wins in Indian Wells would guarantee that impressive achievement. Bertens cruised through her opening round match of the event, beating Magda Linette 6-4 6-1 after receiving a bye through the first round. Bertens faced and overcame a far greater test in the third round against Johanna Konta, Bertens saved several set points in a tight opening set before claiming a hard-fought 7-6 6-4 victory.

Garbine Muguruza advanced to the fourth round in Indian Wells thanks to her first victory over a top 10 opponent in 12 months, albeit via retirement. Muguruza struck gold as she was handed victory as Serena Williams retired from their third round clash as Muguruza led 6-3 1-0 having won 7 games in a row. Muguruza hasn’t had to play much tennis this week having easily defeated Lauren Davis 6-1 6-3 in the second round after receiving a bye through the opening round. We will get a better indication as to where Muguruza is at right now when she takes on Bertens.

Bertens holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Muguruza, however all of those victories for Bertens were over 5 years ago outside of the main tour. The only tour level meeting between the pair was last year in Sydney, Muguruza won 6-3 7-6. Bertens has been on a meteoric rise since their last meeting whilst Muguruza has consistently underachieved.

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Kiki Bertens vs. Donna Vekic, Brisbane R2 Preview

Brisbane International R2, Match Preview
🇳🇱 (6) Kiki Bertens vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Kiki Bertens and Donna Vekic will go head-to-head for the fourth time with a spot in the Brisbane International quarter-finals up for grabs. Vekic heads into this match with a 2-1 record over Bertens but it is Bertens who heads into this match as the favourite and rightfully so.

Kiki Bertens was dealt a very tough opening round draw in Brisbane against the 12th ranked Elise Mertens, the highest unseeded player in the field. The match was predictably very tight, it was Bertens who fought through with a 6-2 6-7 6-4 victory. Bertens served particularly well and showcased how damaging her forehand can be.

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Brisbane International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Donna Vekic made a cracking start to her 2019 campaign with a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 drubbing of Magdalena Rybarikova. Vekic’s superior firepower saw her completely dominate proceedings against Rybarikova, Vekic successfully got Rybarikova on the back foot on a consistent basis and didn’t allow Rybarikova to play her game.

Vekic will certainly face a tougher test against Bertens in the next round, can the young Croatian overcome that challenge?

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Kiki Bertens vs. Elise Mertens, Brisbane R1 Preview

Brisbane International, R1 Preview
🇳🇱 (6) Kiki Bertens vs. 🇧🇪 Elise Mertens

Kiki Bertens will be searching for her first career win over Elise Mertens when the pair go head-to-head in a tough opening round match-up at the Brisbane International. Mertens always loomed as the toughest unseeded opponent, the world number 12 is the highest ranked player in the draw not to be seeded and will potentially be the highest ranked unseeded player heading into any event this year.

Mertens looms as a particularly tough opening round match-up for Bertens given their history. Mertens has won both of the previous meetings between the pair, both on a hard court and both in 2017. Mertens won 6-2 7-5 in Hobart and 4-6 6-4 6-2 in New Haven.

Both Bertens and Mertens have dramatically climbed up the rankings over the last few years, it will be interesting to see which of the pair can consolidate a spot in the top 10 in 2019. A win here would be a great start to the year for both. Who will it be?

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Elina Svitolina vs. Kiki Bertens, Singapore SF Preview

🇸🇬 WTA Finals, Singapore SF #1 Preview
🇺🇦 (6) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇳🇱 (8) Kiki Bertens

Saturday’s first semi-final in Singapore sees Elina Svitolina take on Kiki Bertens. This is a huge opportunity for both players, both will be competing at the semi-final stage at the WTA Finals for the first time from limited experience at the event. Svitolina was the most impressive player in the white group, winning all 3 of her matches whilst Bertens continues to defy the odds in 2018. Svitolina will enter this match as the favourite but Bertens fancies an upset, she has secured the most top 10 wins of any player in 2018, can she do it again here?

Elina Svitolina’s route to the semi-finals:

(W) vs. Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-3
(W) vs. Karolina Pliskova 6-3 2-6 6-3
(W) vs. Caroline Wozniacki 5-7 7-5 6-3

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine celebrates qualifying for the semifinal stage of the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina has been back to her fighting best in Singapore this week, playing with the perfect mix aggression and defense. Svitolina’s form was poor heading into Singapore but she has been the most impressive player throughout the group stage. Svitolina won all 3 of her matches in the white group including a couple of tough 3 set victories. Svitolina started her second consecutive Singapore campaign with a reasonably comfortable straight set win over Petra Kvitova before battling past Karolina Pliskova and Caroline Wozniacki in 3 sets to reach the final 4 at the WTA Finals for the first time. Svitolina’s win over Wozniacki was particularly impressive, it was Svitolina who came out on top in the critical second set, a gutsy effort to outlast a desperate Wozniacki. Svitolina has been fired up all tournament, clearly desperate to reverse her form slump and end the year on a high.

Kiki Bertens’ route to the semi-finals:

(W) vs. Angelique Kerber 1-6 6-3 6-4
(L) vs. Sloane Stephens 6-7 6-2 3-6
(W) vs. Naomi Osaka 6-3 RET.

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action during her third match at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Kiki Bertens is only playing in Singapore because of the late withdrawal of Simona Halep. Bertens is certainly making the most of this opportunity by reaching the final 4 in her WTA Finals debut. Bertens started the event with a great comeback win against Angelique Kerber, Bertens came from 1-6 0-2 down to beat Kerber before succumbing to Sloane Stephens in a tight 3 set match. Bertens secured her spot in the semi-finals with a victory via retirement over Naomi Osaka, another fortunate break for Bertens. Bertens will face her biggest test yet against Svitolina in the semi-finals.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Svitolina defeated Bertens in 3 sets in Zhuhai in 2016 whilst more recently Bertens claimed a 6-4 6-3 win at the quarter-final stage in Cincinnati earlier this year. This is an interesting match-up because of the contrast in styles, the type of match-up that seemingly lends itself to producing close matches.

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Naomi Osaka vs. Kiki Bertens, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, Red group match preview
🇯🇵 (3) Naomi Osaka vs. 🇳🇱 (8) Kiki Bertens

Naomi Osaka entered the WTA Finals as the favourite to win the title but is in big danger of succumbing at the group stage after losing her first couple of matches in Singapore. Despite the losses, Osaka still has a chance to reach the semi-finals if she can beat Kiki Bertens on Friday, plus she will need to rely on results to fall her way in the other match of the day. Bertens has got a win to her name this week but she also needs to win this match to advance to the semi-finals. Who will claim the all-important victory?

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

Naomi Osaka has suffered two fairly similar loses to start her Singapore campaign. Osaka was beaten by Sloane Stephens and Angelique Kerber in 3 sets, on both occasions she lost the first set before hitting back in the second but ultimately faltering in the decider. Osaka has not been as sharp as we have seen in previous months, making far more unforced errors from the baseline and not serving at her best. Perhaps the pressure has got to Osaka as she has looked quite fragile on court at times this week. Osaka is a Grand Slam champion for a reason so don’t dismiss a response from her in the final group stage match.

Kiki Bertens was the last to confirm her place in Singapore but she has certainly not looked like the worst player in the field. Bertens started the tournament with a big 3 set win over Angelique Kerber from a set and 0-2 down. It was a great start for Bertens in her debut at the WTA finals but she could not get over the line in her next match against Sloane Stephens where she let an early lead slip in the deciding set. Bertens essentially has nothing to lose this week, of all the players in the draw she realistically has the least pressure to deal with as it is a bonus for her to just be competing at this event.

It was Osaka who won the only previous match between the pair, a 6-4 6-2 win in Acapulco in 2016. Both players have made significant improvements since that meeting so it will be interesting to see how this match-up unfolds on this occasion.

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Sloane Stephens vs. Kiki Bertens, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, Red Group match preview
🇺🇸 (5) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇳🇱 (8) Kiki Bertens

Sloane Stephens and Kiki Bertens both made impressive winning starts in their Singapore debuts. As a result Stephens and Bertens now have a chance to almost certainly book a place in the semi-finals with a victory here. Adding to the intrigue is that this will be the first time Stephens and Bertens have gone head-to-head for over 5 years and will be just their second career meeting.

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

Sloane Stephens arrived in Singapore arguably in the worst form of all 8 of the participants. Nevertheless, Sloane has shown that she almost always drastically improves her level for big events and that was the case in her WTA Finals debut. Stephens took down reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka 7-5 4-6 6-1. Stephens successfully frustrated Osaka with her mix of attack and defense, Stephens broke the Osaka serve on 7 occasions from a whopping 19 break points chances. The reasonably slow conditions in Singapore seemingly suit the game of Stephens very nicely.

Kiki Bertens made another huge statement in her first ever match at the WTA Finals. Bertens came from a set and a break down to defeat Angelique Kerber 1-6 6-3 6-4. Bertens has now won 11 matches against top 10 opponents since Madrid this year. Bertens has made a habit of winning ugly, that was certainly the case here in what was a fairly messy deciding set with breaks of serve galore. Bertens served 12 double faults and had a first serve percentage of just 53% yet still managed to beat one of the best returners of serve on tour. Bertens will probably need to step it up if she is to claim her first ever win over Sloane Stephens.

It was Stephens who won the only previous match between the pair. A 4-6 6-3 6-2 win way back in 2013 in Rome. Much has changed since then, but another close match is to be expected.

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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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Simona Halep vs. Kiki Bertens, Cincinnati Final Preview

🇺🇸 Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati Final Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇳🇱 Kiki Bertens

Simona Halep will be looking to extend her winning streak and strengthen her hold at the top of the rankings when she takes on Kiki Bertens in Sunday’s final at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Halep and Bertens are arguably the two form players over the last month, expect a high quality final between two extremely confident competitors. Halep has had the better of this match-up in the past but this will be their first match on a hard court in almost a decade. Can Bertens take down the world number 1 to win the biggest title of her career?

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action during her second-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Simona Halep is on a roll, full of confidence and at the top of her game. Halep arrived in Cincinnati straight from a gruelling final win over Sloane Stephens at the Rogers Cup. It would have been understandable if Halep took this tournament lightly, to the contrary she has been extremely strong on route to her 6th final of the year. The world number 1 made a slow start to the event with a 3 set win over Ajla Tomljanovic before beating Ashleigh Barty, Lesia Tsurenko and Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets. Halep’s ability to take down a red-hot Sabalenka was certainly a confidence boosting win.

It has been an outstanding month for Kiki Bertens. Bertens arrived in Cincinnati fresh from back-to-back quarter-final appearances at Wimbledon and the Rogers Cup. Bertens rolled through her first couple of matches, beating CoCo Vandeweghe and Caroline Wozniacki, dropping a combined 6 games. Bertens then required 3 sets to get by Anett Kontaveit in an injury interrupted match before producing her best performance in a straight set demolition of Elina Svitolina. Bertens booked her spot in the final with a gutsy 3-6 6-4 6-2 win over Petra Kvitova to give herself a chance to win a maiden hard court title.

Halep holds a 3-1 H2H record over Bertens. Halep won the two recent meetings between the pair, both in straight sets: 7-5 6-1 in Rome last year and 6-4 6-3 at Wimbledon in 2016. This will be the first meeting between the two on a hard court in almost 8 years.

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Karolina Pliskova vs. Kiki Bertens, Wimbledon R4 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R4 Preview
🇨🇿 (7) Karolina Pliskova vs. 🇳🇱 (20) Kiki Bertens

Karolina Pliskova and Kiki Bertens will go head-to-head on ‘manic Monday’ at SW19. This is the first time both Pliskova and Bertens have reached the fourth round stage at Wimbledon, a huge opportunity for both to reach the final 8 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Pliskova easily defeated Bertens earlier this year in Stuttgart. Can Bertens, fresh off an big upset win over Venus Williams reverse their previous result and cause yet another upset?

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during the third round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Karolina Pliskova arrived at Wimbledon in average form and having lost at the second round stage in her last 5 appearances at Wimbledon. The 7th seed broke her Wimbledon hoodoo to reach the second week for the first time thanks to a couple of tough victories. Pliskova started the tournament off with a fairly poor performance, beating local wild-card Harriet Dart in 3 sets. Pliskova dramatically improved her level as she comfortably defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-2 6-3 before fighting from a set and 1-4 down to defeat Mihaela Buzarnescu 3-6 7-6 6-1. Pliskova is the only top 10 seed remining in her half of the draw.

Kiki Bertens is through to the second week of a Grand Slam for the third time in her career, the first time away from Roland Garros. The 20th seed cruised through her first couple of matches, beating Barbora Stefkova and Anna Blinkova in straight sets. Bertens claimed one of the biggest wins of her career on Friday as she eliminated 5-time former champion Venus Williams 6-2 6-7 8-6. After losing a tight second set and going down an early break in the decider it seemed Bertens was heading for the exit door, Bertens rebounded strongly to claim a memorable win.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece at the tour level. The only recent match between the pair was earlier this year on clay in Stuttgart, Pliskova claimed a comfortable 6-2 6-2 victory.

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