Sloane Stephens vs. Jelena Ostapenko, Eastbourne R2 Preview

Nature Valley International, Eastbourne R2
🇺🇸 (7) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇱🇻 Jelena Ostapenko

Two Grand Slam champions will collide in a blockbuster second round clash at the Nature Valley International on Tuesday as the 7th seeded Sloane Stephens takes on Jelena Ostapenko in Eastbourne. Stephens and Ostapenko are two of the most unpredictable players on the WTA tour, both are capable of playing top level tennis but both can also go missing from time-to-time.

Sloane Stephens will be in action for the first time since her disappointing quarter-final loss to Johanna Konta at Roland Garros earlier this month. Grass is traditionally Stephens least preferred surface, the American has nothing to lose over the coming weeks as she has no points to defend given she was beaten in the opening round at Wimbledon last year in the only match she played on the grass. Perhaps the lack of pressure will work in the American’s favour.

Conversely, Jelena Ostapenko is much more comfortable on the grass. Ostapenko arrives in Eastbourne fresh from a quarter-final showing in Birmingham, Ostapenko’s Birmingham campaign did end quite sadly as she squandered 5 match points and a set and a break lead to lose to Petra Martic in the quarter-finals, nevertheless it was a decent week. The pressure is on Ostapenko over the next few weeks as she has to defend semi-final points at Wimbledon.

It was Sloane Stephens who won the only previous match between the pair, a 7-6 6-1 win over the Latvian in the Miami Open final last year. Can Stephens maintain her perfect record over Ostapenko in Eastbourne?

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Simona Halep vs. Su-Wei Hsieh, Eastbourne R2 Preview

Nature Valley International, Eastbourne R2
🇷🇴 (6) Simona Halep vs. 🇹🇼 Su-Wei Hsieh

Simona Halep begins her 2019 grass court campaign with a tricky second round match-up against Su-Wei Hsieh at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne. The last time the pair met it was Hsieh who shocked Halep with a tough 3 set victory at the third round stage of Wimbledon last year. An in-form Hsieh will fancy her chances again here against a potentially rusty opponent.

Simona Halep will be back in action for the first time since her disappointing quarter-final loss to Amanda Anisimova at Roland Garros earlier this month. Grass has always been Halep’s least preferred surface but she has gradually improved on the surface over the years. Halep enters the 2019 grass court season with low expectation and little pressure on her shoulders, perhaps the perfect circumstances for the Romanian.

Su-Wei Hsieh arrives in Eastbourne fresh from winning the doubles title in Birmingham alongside Barbora Strycova. Hsieh won the doubles final in Birmingham on Sunday and was back in action on Monday in Eastbourne where she claimed a hard-fought 6-3 4-6 6-4 win over Camila Giorgi in what was a very high quality match.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Halep required 3 sets to get past Hsieh in Cincinnati in 2013, whilst more recently Hsieh defeated Halep 3-6 6-4 7-5 at Wimbledon last year. Clearly this is a tough match-up for Halep, especially on grass.

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Danielle Collins vs. Yulia Putintseva, Eastbourne R1 Preview

Nature Valley International, Eastbourne R1
🇺🇸 Danielle Collins vs. 🇰🇿 Yulia Putintseva

An interesting opening round clash In Eastbourne sees two of the WTA tour’s feistiest competitors do battle as Danielle Collins takes on Yulia Putintseva. This will be the first career meeting between Collins and Putintseva, expect a drama filled contest between these two.

Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Danielle Collins will be playing her first grass court tournament of the season this week in Eastbourne, her first event since a second round exit at Roland Garros earlier this month. Collins has very limited experience on grass, the American’s run to the quarter-finals in Eastbourne last year was the only time she has won main draw matches on grass.

Yulia Putintseva arrives in Eastbourne in good form after a run to the quarter-finals in Birmingham last week. The Kazakh made a good start to her grass court season in Birmingham as she notably claimed a straight set second round victory over Naomi Osaka, her first ever victory over a number 1 ranked player. Grass is traditionally Putintseva’s least preferred surface but she has certainly improved on the surface and will have gained a huge confidence boost from her win over Osaka.

Neither player will take a backwards step in this one, who will prevail?

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Polona Hercog vs. Barbora Strycova, Eastbourne R1 Preview

Nature Valley International, Eastbourne R1
🇸🇮 (Q) Polona Hercog vs. 🇨🇿 Barbora Strycova

Barbora Strycova will look to continue her strong form from Birmingham as she begins her Eastbourne campaign against Polona Hercog. Strycova arrives in Eastbourne in good touch after a run to the semi-finals in Birmingham last week whilst Polona Hercog enters this first round clash match-hardened having won a couple matches to get through the qualifying draw.

Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic in action during her semi-final match at the 2019 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Barbora Strycova has always played her best tennis on grass, her crafty game makes her a threat to anyone on this surface. The Czech started her 2019 grass court campaign with a strong run to the semi-finals in Birmingham where she defeated Heather Watson, Su-Wei Hsieh and Kristyna Pliskova before falling to Ashleigh Barty in a close one. Meanwhile Strycova is also in strong form on the doubles court having gone all the way in Birmingham with Su-Wei Hsieh.

Grass is not as familiar to Polona Hercog, the Slovenian traditionally struggles on this surface but has made a decent start to her 2019 grass court campaign. Hercog defeated Christina McHale before falling to eventual champion Alison Riske in 's-Hertogenbosch. Hercog made her way through the qualifying draw in Eastbourne with wins over Jill Teichmann and Pauline Parmentier.

Surprisingly it is Hercog who holds a strong head-to-head record over Strycova, Hercog has won 3 of their 4 previous clashes. However, it was Strycova who won their most recent match, a 6-4 6-4 win at Roland Garros in 2016.

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Ashleigh Barty vs. Marketa Vondrousova, Roland Garros Final Preview

🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, Final Preview
🇦🇺 (8) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇨🇿 Marketa Vondrousova

A new Grand Slam champion will be crowned on Saturday in Paris as the 8th seeded Ashleigh Barty takes on the unseeded Marketa Vondrousova in the 2019 Roland Garros championship match. Barty and Vondrousova will both be competing in their very first Grand Slam singles final, a huge opportunity for both players. It is Barty who heads into this match as the favourite to lift the trophy, Barty is the more experienced player, the higher ranked player and has won both of the previous matches between the pair, but don’t take Vondrousova lightly.

Ash Barty came through a rollercoaster semi-final against Amanda Anisimova to secure her spot in the final. Barty raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set before dropping 10 of the next 11 games to find her self down 6-7 0-3 and seemingly heading for the exit door. However, the Aussie showed true resilience to rebound against a fearless opponent and secure a famous 6-7 6-3 6-3 victory. Barty’s versatility has caused her opponents all types of problems all tournament, she truly is a unique player in the women’s game, Barty’s slice backhand is one of the best shots in the women’s game at the moment.

At just 19-years of age Marketa Vondrousova is through to a Grand Slam final. Vondrousova certainly doesn’t play like a teenager on court. The young Czech star has played with a maturity well beyond her years to reach Saturday’s final without dropping a single set all tournament. Vondrousova’s gutsy 7-5 7-6 semi-final win over Johanna Konta typified her strong character. Vondrousova trailed 3-5 in each set but never lost her cool and eventually wore down Konta with her relentless scrapping from the baseline. Like Barty, Vondrousova is a unique player, she has it all, power, outstanding defense, great touch and a very competent net game.

Barty holds a perfect 2-0 record over Vondrousova. The Aussie has won both of the previous matches between the pair in straight sets, 7-5 7-6 on the Nottingham grass in 2017 whilst more recently Barty claimed a 6-3 7-5 win on a hard court in Cincinnati late last year. This will be their first meeting on clay court and easily the biggest match of both players respective careers. Who will prevail?

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Johanna Konta vs. Marketa Vondrousova, Roland Garros SF Preview

🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, SF Preview
🇬🇧 (26) Johanna Konta vs. 🇨🇿 Marketa Vondrousova

An unexpected semi-final match-up at Roland Garros sees the 28th seeded Johanna Konta take on 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova. The stakes couldn’t be much higher, Konta and Vondrousova will both be aiming to reach a maiden Grand Slam final. Both players enter this match full of confidence having claimed successive straight set wins over quality opposition to reach this stage of the tournament, who will prevail?

Johanna Konta is having an unbelievably good clay court season for someone who has never previously even won a main draw match in Paris. It all started in Marrakech where Konta reached her first clay court final before reaching the final in Rome last month. Konta has carried her strong form into Paris where she has played some devastating tennis. The British number 1 navigated her way through the first week of the event with wins over Antonia Lottner, Lauren Davis and Viktoria Kuzmova, Konta’s 3 set win over Davis was the only match she has dropped a set this tournament. Konta’s two most recent victories have been especially impressive, a 6-2 6-4 win over the 23rd seeded Donna Vekic before crushing the 7th seeded Sloane Stephens 6-1 6-4 in a near-flawless serving display.

Marketa Vondrousova has swept through the draw In Paris without dropping a single set to reach the final 4 of a Grand Slam for the first time. The unseeded Czech started the event with wins over Yafan Wang and Anastasia Potapova before beating 3 seeded opponent in a row. Vondrousova cruised past the 28th seeded Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4 6-4 before crushing the 12th seeded Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 6-0. Vondrousova’s greatest challenge came at the quarter-final stage where she battled past the 31st seeded Petra Martic 7-6 7-5 in what was a gruelling match that lasted exactly 2 hours. Vondrousova now gets a change at revenge against Johanna Konta, an opponent she recently lost to in Rome.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Vondrousova defeated Konta 7-6 6-4 in Indian Wells last year whilst more recently Konta claimed a 6-3 3-6 6-1 victory in Rome last month. Konta’s recent win over Vondrousova on clay gives her the slight edge heading into this match but Vondrousova will fancy her chances on this occasion.

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Ashleigh Barty vs. Madison Keys, Roland Garros QF Preview

🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, QF Preview
🇦🇺 (8) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇺🇸 (14) Madison Keys

Ash Barty and Madison Keys continue their respective quests for a maiden Grand Slam title when the pair do battle at the quarter-final stage at Roland Garros on Wednesday. This is set to be an intriguing contest between two players at very similar stages in their careers. Barty and Keys were both seen as players on the cusp of breaking through to claim a major title heading into Paris, now the opportunity presents itself to the pair to grab that first major in Paris.

Madison Keys of the United States in action during her fourth-round match at the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Ash Barty stormed through the first week in Paris without dropping a set. The 8th seed claimed straight set wins over Jessica Pegula, Danielle Collins and Andrea Petkovic in week 1 of the tournament. Barty’s first slight scare came in the fourth round where she was forced into a deciding set by Sofia Kenin. Barty was up to the challenge against a dangerous opponent as she cruised to a 6-3 3-6 6-0 victory. Barty has now reached back-to-back Grand Slam quarter-finals in 2019 having entered the season without reaching the final 8 of a major.

Madison Keys is through to the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam for the 7th time in her career and for the second consecutive year in Paris. Keys started her 2019 Roland Garros campaign with an easy straight set win over Evgeniya Rodina before battling past Priscilla Hon and Anna Blinkova in 3 sets. Keys produced her best performance of the tournament thus far in a 6-2 6-4 victory over Katerina Siniakova to secure her spot in the final 8.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. It was Barty who won the most recent match between the pair earlier this year, a fairly comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory on a hard court in a Fed Cup tie. It was Keys who won their only previous match on a clay court, a 6-3 6-2 victory at Roland Garros in 2017.

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Simona Halep vs. Amanda Anisimova, Roland Garros QF Preview

🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, QF Preview
🇷🇴 (3) Simona Halep vs. 🇺🇸 Amanda Anisimova

Simona Halep continues her Roland Garros title defense on Wednesday with a quarter-final clash against America’s Amanda Anisimova. The gulf in experience between Halep and Anisimova is huge heading into this clash. Halep has reached the final in Paris on 3 previous occasions and of course won the title last year, whilst Anisimova entered this tournament having never won a main draw match at Roland Garros, this is the American’s second main draw appearance at the event. Thus it is Halep who enters this match as a huge favourite.

Amanda Anisimova of the United States in action during her fourth-round match at the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

This was always going to be an interesting tournament for Simona Halep, the first time she has entered a Grand Slam as a defending champion. So far so good for the Romanian. Halep started the event with a couple of hard-fought 3 set wins over Ajla Tomljanovic and Magda Linette before cruising past Lesia Tsurenko and Iga Swiatek in straight sets. Halep’s tough start to the event may well have been just what the former world number 1 needed, she has been tested and is now seemingly getting stronger and stronger.

At 17 years of age Amanda Anisimova is the first player born in this millennium to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final. Anisimova has made her way through to the final 8 in style without dropping a single set. Anisimova’s biggest win of the event was in the second round where she defeated the 11th seeded Aryna Sabalenka 6-4 6-2. The American also claimed wins over Harmony Tan and Irina-Camelia Begu in the first week. Anisimova booked her spot in a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final with a powerful 6-3 6-0 win over Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov. This has been another impressive run by the American who also reached also the round of 16 earlier this year at the Australian Open.

This will be the first career meeting between Halep and Anisimova. This match looms as the American’s biggest test of the tournament, perhaps even her entire career, how will Anisimova handle the occasion?

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Sloane Stephens vs. Johanna Konta, Roland Garros QF Preview

🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, QF Preview
🇺🇸 (7) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇬🇧 (26) Johanna Konta

Sloane Stephens and Johanna Konta will renew hostilities when they go head-to-head at the quarter-final stage at Roland Garros. This will be the third career meeting between the pair, interestingly it was Johanna Konta who won both of those matches, both earlier this year. Nevertheless, it is the American who heads into this match as the slight favourite, last year’s runner-up is the highest seed left in the bottom half of the draw and will fancy her chances of reaching back-to-back finals in Paris.

Johanna Konta of Great Britain in action during her fourth-round match at the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

The 7th seeded Sloane Stephens hasn’t always had things her own way on rote to the final 8 in Paris. Stephens overcame strong late resistance in all 3 of her matches in the first week of the event. Stephens managed to escape with straight set wins over Misaki Doi and Sara Sorribes Tormo but was not so fortunate against Polona Hercog where she failed to serve out the match before eventually claiming a 6-3 5-7 6-4 victory. The 2017 US Open champion produced her best performance of the tournament at the round of 16 stage where she comfortably beat Garbine Muguruza 6-4 6-3 to announce herself as a genuine contender at Roland Garros.

Johanna Konta arrives in Paris having never won a main draw match at Roland Garros, Konta had previously lost 4 times at the opening round stage. However, Konta did arrives in Paris in great form having recently reached the Rome final and has continued that strong form in Paris. Konta broke her Paris duck with a straight set win over Antonia Lottner before battling past Lauren Davis in 3 sets. Konta produced a couple of clinical performances to secure a spot in the final 8, beating Viktoria Kuzmova and Donna Vekic in straight sets. To be fair, Konta has had a favourable draw, Stephens will provide her biggest test yet in the next round, an opponent Konta has actually had recent success against.

Konta holds a perfect 2-0 record over Stephens. The pair met for the first time in Brisbane at the start of the year, Konta won 6-4 6-3, more recently Konta prevailed 6-7 6-4 6-1 on the clay in Rome. Nevertheless, facing Stephens at a Grand Slam is likely to be a much tougher test for Konta, can the American make it third time lucky against the Brit?

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Petra Martic vs. Marketa Vondrousova, Roland Garros QF Preview

🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, QF Preview
🇭🇷 (31) Petra Martic vs. 🇨🇿 Marketa Vondrousova

A pair of first time quarter-finalists will go head-to-head for a spot in the final 4 at Roland Garros when the 31st seeded Petra Martic comes up against Marketa Vondrousova. On paper this may look like an unexpected quarter-final match-up for a Grand Slam, but Martic and Vondrousova have actually been two of the best performers of the clay court season. Martic has won more matches on the red dirt than anyone else on tour this year whilst Vondrousova has claimed some big wins on the clay over the last few months.

Petra Martic of Croatia in action during her fourth-round match at the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Petra Martic stormed through the first week at Roland Garros without dropping a set. Martic started her Paris campaign with easy straight set wins over Ons Jabeur and Kristina Mladenovic before upsetting the 2nd seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-3 6-3. Martic’s greatest battle came in the round of 16 where she managed to reach a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final in her fifth fourth round appearance thanks to a 5-7 6-2 6-4 win over Kaia Kanepi. Martic had to battle mental demons in her win over Kanepi, she almost blew her greatest chance to reach the final 8 at a slam but got over the line in what was a tense match.

Marketa Vondrousova arrived in Paris having only won 6 main draw matches at the Grand Slam level. Now Vondrousova is suddenly in a maiden quarter-final in Paris thanks to some devastating tennis. Vondrousova has cruised into the final 8 without dropping a set, in fact she has rarely even been tested. Vondrousova started the event with easy wins over Yafan Wang and Anastasia Potapova before eliminating the 28th seeded Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4 6-4. Vondrousova booked her spot in the quarter-finals with a 6-2 6-0 thrashing of the 12th seeded Anastasija Sevastova. The young Czech star will need to keep up her recent great form if she is to advance any further when she takes on an opponent she is struggled against in recent times.

Petra Martic heads into this clash with a strong 4-0 head-to-head record over Marketa Vondrousova. All 4 of the meetings between the pair have been in the last couple of years. Their most recent match took place in the Istanbul final a few months ago, Martic claimed a 1-6 6-4 6-1 victory on that occasion. Martic won all 3 of their previous matches in straight sets, all on a hard court. Can an in form Vondrousova make it fifth time lucky against the Croatian?

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