Category Archives: Montreal

Coupe Rogers, Semi-Final Day Match Previews

SF #1: (5) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep vs (2) 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber

A blockbuster semi-final clash in Montreal sees Simona Halep come up against Angelique Kerber.

Halep is having a great week in Montreal, not only is she into the semi-finals in singles but she is also in the semi-finals in the doubles draw alongside Monica Niculescu. Halep has come through a tough draw to reach the final four, claiming straight set wins over Daria Gavrilova and Karolina Pliskova before coming from a set down to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova.

 

Angelique Kerber struggled in her opening couple of matches in Montreal but managed to fight past Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Elina Svitolina in three sets. The German secured her spot in Saturday’s semi-finals with a convincing straight set win over Daria Kasatkina.

Simona Halep holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Kerber, however it was the German who won their most recent match: a 7-5 7-6 win at Wimbledon earlier this year.

Simona Halep has a perfect 3-0 record over Kerber on a hard court and I suspect she will maintain that perfect record. The surface suits Halep in this match-up and the Romanian has been playing at a higher level in Montreal and seems better positioned to win this match.

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Angelique Kerber in 3 sets

 

SF #2: (10) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs (Q) 🇸🇰 Kristina Kucova

Kristina Kucova continues to defy the odds in Montreal, the Slovakian is now into the biggest semi-final of her career after claiming a straight set win over Johanna Konta on Friday evening. Kucova came through the qualifying draw and has also claimed main draw upset wins over Carla Suarez Navarro and Eugenie Bouchard. Her run should come to an end on Saturday against Madison Keys.

 

Keys has been typically inconsistent throughout her last couple of matches in Montreal this week. Keys needed three sets to beat Venus Williams and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, suffering a second set meltdown in each match. Nevertheless, Keys was too good in the deciding set on each occasion which is all that matters.

This will be the first career meeting between Keys and Kucova. I suspect Keys will be too good. The American has all the weapons to dominate Kucova, the Slovakian doesn’t have many real weapons and will be very reliant on unforced errors from Keys to stand a chance.

Prediction: Madison Keys to defeat Kristina Kucova in 2 sets

Coupe Rogers, Quarter-final Day Match Previews

QF #1: (5) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep vs (9) 🇷🇺 Svetlana Kuznetsova

Friday’s first quarter-final in Montreal promises to be a close match between Halep and Kuznetsova. Halep has arguably been one of the most impressive players in the first couple of rounds at the Rogers Cup but is likely to face her greatest test of the tournament thus far when she comes up against Svetlana Kuznetsova. Halep and Kuznetsova have both advanced to the quarter-final stage without dropping a set: Halep defeated Daria Gavrilova and Karolina Pliskova in straight sets whilst Kuznetsova defeated Alla Kudryavtseva and Petra Kvitova. 

The head-to-head record between Halep and Kuznetsova is split at 3 wins apiece. The Russian won their most recent clash, a 7-6 4-6 6-3 win at the Sydney International earlier this year (Halep was struggling with an injury during that tournament). The Romanian seems to be playing some of her best tennis of the year and should be good enough to get past Kuznetsova on a surface that suits her game.

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova in 3 sets
QF #2: (2) 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber vs 🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina

Angelique Kerber and Daria Kasatkina will go head-to-head for the first time in what should be an entertaining match-up. Kerber hasn’t been at her best in the early rounds of this year’s Rogers Cup but has been strong enough to advance to the quarter-final stage where she should improve her level. Kerber has claimed three set wins over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Elina Svitolina. Kerber was close to a third round exit given Svitolina twice served for the match in the second set but the German was too good when it mattered most.

 

Daria Kasatkina’s form over her last couple of matches has been far more impressive. The Russian started the week with a comeback victory over Misaki Doi before recording straight set wins over Samantha Stosur and Roberta Vinci. Kasatkina’s 7-5 6-3 win over Vinci was particularly impressive.

I suspect Kerber will be too strong for Kasatkina in this match-up. These two have a similar approach, but clearly Angie has more experience and confidence on the biggest stages. If Kerber is fit and healthy, she should win this match because of her superior strength.

Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Daria Kasatkina in 2 sets
QF #3: (10) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs (16) 🇷🇺 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Another first time match-up sees Madison Keys come up against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Keys and Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the quarter-final stage in a very similar fashion. Pavlyuchenkova defeated Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets whilst Madison Keys defeated Venus Williams in three sets, both seemed like they should have closed the match out in straight sets but both recovered well to eventually win in three.

It’s tough to know how this match will unfold, I suspect Pavlyuchenkova is capable of causing an upset. Keys was extremely erratic throughout her win over Venus, Pavlyuchenkova is the type of opponent that is good at absorbing pace and can force the American into errors.

Prediction: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to defeat Madison Keys in 3 sets

 

QF #4: (15) 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs (Q) 🇸🇰 Kristina Kucova

Friday’s final quarter-final features an unlikely match-up between Johanna Konta and Kristina Kucova. Konta is in great form at the moment after claiming her maiden WTA title in Stanford last week, Konta is now on a 7 match winning streak. Konta has made the most of a favourable draw in Montreal by beating Shelby Rogers, Vania King and Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets on route to the quarter-final stage.

Kristina Kucova is having the week of her life, the Slovakian is into her first quarter-final at this level and has come all the way from the qualifying draw. Kucova has recorded upset victories over Yanina Wickmayer, Carla Suarez Navarro and Eugenie Bouchard. Kucova’s run should come to an end on Friday night, Konta should be too consistent and too powerful for Kucova.

Prediction: Johanna Konta to defeat Kristina Kucova in 2 sets

Petra Kvitova vs Andrea Petkovic, Rogers Cup R2 Preview

Rogers Cup Second Round Match Preview + Prediction 🇨🇦🍁
(12) 🇨🇿 Petra Kvitova vs 🇩🇪 Andrea Petkovic

Former Champion Petra Kvitova will continue her quest for a second Rogers Cup title on Wednesday when she comes against Andrea Petkovic at the second round stage in Montreal. Interestingly the head-to-head record between the pair is split at 4 wins apiece heading into Wednesday’s match.

Petra Kvitova made a commanding start to her 2016 Rogers Cup campaign on Monday evening, the Czech claimed a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 win over Magda Linette. It was a near flawless performance by Petra, a good sign moving forward in Montreal. Kvitova’s grass court season was very disappointing by her usual standards, Petra will be keen to make up for that during the U.S Open Series over the next month.

 

Andrea Petkovic has been unable to find her best form throughout season 2016 but still has to time to make up for the disappointment over the next couple of months. Petkovic advanced to the second round in Montreal thanks to a 7-6 6-3 win over Alize Cornet. It was a good win for the German given her poor previous record over the Frenchwoman.

The head-to-head record between Kvitova and Petkovic is split at 4 wins apiece, the pair have also split their last 4 meetings. Their most recent match was during a Fed Cup tie in 2014, Kvitova claimed a 6-2 6-4 win.

I suspect Kvitova will be too strong for Petkovic on this occasion. Kvitova’s first round performance was very impressive and she seems to be in a good place this week, conversely Petkovic is still deprived of confidence and there is not much to suggest that she is playing well enough to beat Kvitova. Despite the head-to-head record I think this is a good match-up for Petra and she should win this match pretty comfortably. 

Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Andrea Petkovic in 2 sets

Karolina Pliskova vs Sara Errani, Rogers Cup R2 Preview

Rogers Cup, Second Round Match Preview + Prediction 🇨🇦🍁
(14) 🇨🇿 Karolina Pliskova vs 🇮🇹 Sara Errani

Karolina Pliskova and Sara Errani will go head-to-head at the second round stage of the Rogers Cup on Wednesday in a match-up that features an extreme contrast in styles. This match-up is arguably one of the greatest contrast in styles on the tour, the tall, big serving Czech against the counter-punching Italian.

Karolina Pliskova sneaked through her opening round match with Kateryna Bondarenko on Tuesday, the Czech came from a set down to claim a hard-fought 3-6 6-2 7-5 victory. Pliskova has generally struggled at the biggest events in 2016, especially at the Grand Slam level, therefore Pliskova will be determined to reverse that trend during the U.S Open series starting at the Rogers Cup this week.

 

Sara Errani recorded a typically gutsy victory to advance to the second round in Montreal, Errani claimed a 6-4 7-6 win over Aleksandra Wozniak.Wozniak, Errani’s consistency and tenacity got her over the line. Errani has generally struggled in 2016 apart from her surprise week in Dubai earlier in the year where she won the title. The Italian will need to produce some of her best tennis if she is to get past Pliskova on Wednesday.

The head-to-head record between Pliskova and Errani is split at 1 win apiece. Pliskova won the most recent match between the pair, Pliskova claimed a comfortable 6-0 6-3 win over Errani in Zhuhai last year. Wednesday’s match will be played on a similarly quick hard court surface. Pliskova’s recent form hasn’t been great so I suspect this match will be a bit more competitive than their Zhuhai match but ultimately Pliskova should always be too strong for Errani on this surface.

Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Sara Errani in 2 sets

Yulia Putintseva vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Rogers Cup R1 Preview

Coupe Rogers, 1st Round Match Preview + Prediction 🇨🇦🍁
🇰🇿 Yulia Putintseva vs (16) 🇷🇺 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Yulia Putintseva and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will go head-to-head for the second time in as many months when they meet at the first round stage of the Rogers Cup on Tuesday. Pavlyuchenkova claimed a straight set victory over Yulia at Wimbledon last month, the Kazakh will be desperate to avenge that loss at the Rogers Cup but it will be tough against an opponent that she does not match up well against.

Yulia Putintseva’s form throughout season 2016 has generally been quite steady, 2016 has undoubtedly been the Kazakh’s best season thus far and seems like a turning point in her career. Yulia started her North American hard court campaign last week in Washington, Yulia made the most of a reasonably favourable draw to reach the semi-final stage. Yulia recorded a couple of victories over players ranked well below her without being too convincing and was ultimately no match for Yanina Wickmayer at the semi-final stage where she lost in straight sets, a disappointing ending to the tournament for Yulia.

 

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will be competing in her first tournament since Wimbledon where she seemingly turned her season around with a confidence boosting run to the quarter-finals where she ultimately succumbed to Serena Williams in two tight sets. The Russian has generally struggled throughout the year but I expect her results to improve over the next couple of months, at a stage of the year that Anastasia has generally performed quite well.

The only previous meeting between the pair took place in the second round at Wimbledon last month, Pavlyuchenkova claimed a 7-5 6-1 victory. Pavlyuchenkova trailed 3-5 before winning 9 of the last 10 games in the match. Yulia should have a slightly greater chance on Tuesday, a hard court gives Yulia a greater chance because there will be more extended rallies but ultimately I think Pavlyuchenkova will once again be too powerful.

Prediction: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to defeat Yulia Putintseva in 3 sets