Anastasija Sevastova vs. Jelena Ostapenko, Stuttgart R1 Preview

🇩🇪🏁 Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart R1 Preview
🇱🇻 (7) Anastasija Sevastova vs. 🇱🇻 Jelena Ostapenko

Latvia’s two top players will do battle at the opening round stage of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart when the 7th seeded Anastasija Sevastova takes on Jelena Ostapenko. This is an intriguing match-up given the contrast in styles between the pair, the versatility and creativity of Sevastova up against the power of Ostapenko, who will prevail?

Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia during practice ahead of her opening round match with Jelena Ostapenko at the 2019 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix WTA Premier tennis tournament.

Sevastova and Ostapenko have both struggled to find their best tennis in 2019. This was supposed to be a big year for Latvian tennis but things have certainly not gone to plan. Latvia was beaten by Germany in their first World Group playoff appearance in a long time, Ostapenko lost both her rubbers while Sevastova chose not to take part.

Sevastova and Ostapenko are both very capable on clay and will be keen to finally gain some momentum in 2019 over the next few months on the red dirt. The pair have only played once before, Sevastova won that match via retirement in Moscow back n 2015. It will be interesting to see how this match-ups pans out this time around.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Donna Vekic, Stuttgart R1 Preview

🇩🇪🏁 Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart R1 Preview
🇩🇪 (5) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Angelique Kerber begins her Stuttgart campaign with an opening round clash against Croatia’s Donna Vekic. Kerber is a two-time former champion in Stuttgart having won back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016. The German will be keen to add a third Stuttgart title to her collection to belatedly open her title count for 2019. Donna Vekic will have other ideas and is always a danger on her day, can Vekic cause a big upset?

Donna Vekic of Croatia during practice ahead of her opening round match-up with Angelique Kerber at the 2019 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix WTA Premier tennis tournament. 

Kerber has made a very solid start to 2019 and will now be focused on improved results during the clay court swing, a time of the year that the German usually struggles. Kerber arrives in Stuttgart on the back of a semi-final showing in Monterrey, a few weeks prior to that Kerber reached the final in Indian Wells, so her form is good. The quick clay court conditions in Stuttgart have traditionally suited Kerber nicely and she will be keen to once again impress in front of the vocal home crowd.

Donna Vekic’s recent from has not been very impressive at all. The Croatian will be hoping for a form reversal in Stuttgart, a win over Angelique Kerber would be the perfect way to kick-start a form reversal. Vekic has only won a single match in the last few months having lost in the opening round at Indian Wells and the second round in Miami. The quick clay court conditions in Stuttgart should also help Vekic on a surface she usually struggles on.

Kerber has won both of the previous meetings between the pair, both in straight sets, 6-4 7-6 at the Rogers Cup in 2017 and 6-4 6-1 at the Australian Open last year. This will be their first meeting on a clay court.

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Karolina Pliskova vs. CoCo Vandeweghe, 🏆 Stuttgart Final Preview

Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, 🏆 Stuttgart Final Preview
🇨🇿 (5) Karolina Pliskova vs. 🇺🇸 (wc) CoCo Vandeweghe

A surprise final in Stuttgart will feature Karolina Pliskova and CoCo Vandeweghe, two players that are not expected to be featuring on the final day of a big clay court event. The Stuttgart courts have proven to be a haven for the big server over the last week. Pliskova and Vandeweghe have both been extremely strong behind their serves on route to the final. The serve is the biggest weapon for both players, when that shot is firing both are very dangerous. Expect to see a close final with few breaks of serve.

Coco Vandeweghe of the United States in action during her semi-final match at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

It has been a long, successful week for Pliskova in Stuttgart. Pliskova started the week in Stuttgart in Fed Cup action where the Czech Republic beat Germany to reach yet another final. Pliskova started her PTGP campaign with a comfortable win over Kiki Bertens before blasting 15 aces past Veronika Kudermetova in the second round. Pliskova’s biggest test came at the quarter-final stage where she rallied from a set down to beat Jelena Ostapenko 5-7 7-5 6-4. Pliskova booked her spot in her first final of the season with a reasonably comfortable 6-4 6-2 over Anett Kontaveit. What has stood out has been Pliskova’s improved movement and ability to defend, especially in her last two matches against powerful opposition.

CoCo Vandeweghe has been surprisingly impressive this week. Vandeweghe herself admitted earlier in the week that she will probably never like clay, perhaps she will change her mind after this week? Vandeweghe started the event with a straight set drubbing of Sloane Stephens before battling past defending champion Laura Siegemund 6-4 4-6 6-3. Vandeweghe claimed back-to-back wins over top 10 opponents to reach her first final of the year, a 6-4 6-1 win over Simona Halep and 6-4 6-2 over Caroline Garcia. When Vandeweghe is on a roll she is hard to stop but her record at the pointy end of big events is not great.

Vandeweghe heads into Sunday’s final with a 3-2 H2H record over Pliskova. Vandeweghe has won 3 of the last 4 matches between the pair and has proven to be a frustrating opponent for Pliskova in recent times. This was especially true during their latest match where Pliskova suffered a frustrating 6-7 3-6 loss at the hands of the American at the quarter-final stage of the U.S Open. What is in Pliskova favour is the fact she won their only previous match on clay, a 7-6 6-4 win In Stuttgart last year.

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Karolina Pliskova vs. Anett Kontaveit, Stuttgart SF Preview

Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart SF #2 Preview
🇨🇿 (5) Karolina Pliskova vs. 🇪🇪 Anett Kontaveit

Karolina Pliskova and Anett Kontaveit will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet in Saturday’s second semi-final for the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart. Pliskova and Kontaveit both booked their spot in the semi-finals with hard-fought 3 set victories, both are match-hardened and full of confidence heading into this match. This looks like a great opportunity for both to reach their first final of 2018, both will see this as a winnable match, who will step up and grab this opportunity?

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in action in her quarter-final match at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Karolina Pliskova has continued her incredibly consistent start to the season this week in Stuttgart. Pliskova has reached at least the quarter-final stage at 6 of the 7 events she has competed in this year, however she is yet to make it all the way to a final. Pliskova started her Stuttgart campaign with an impressive 6-2 6-2 demolition of Kiki Bertens before hitting 15 aces on route to a 7-6 6-3 win over Veronika Kudermetova. Pliskova booked her spot in the final 4 with a gutsy 5-7 7-5 6-4 win over Jelena Ostapenko. It is clear that Pliskova has improved her game on clay, especially her movement and ability to defend.

Anett Kontaveit arrived in Stuttgart with 4 consecutive losses to her name and seemingly very little confidence. The Estonian has been able to get over the line in a couple of tough matches this week and had a little fortune along the way to reach her first semi-final of the year. Kontaveit started the week with a 5-7 7-6 7-6 win over Kristina Mladenovic before benefiting from the retirement of Angelique Kerber it the second round. Kontaveit booked her spot in the final 4 via a marathon 3-hour 7-5 6-7 6-3 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Kontaveit has done well to get through 2 very tight matches this week.

It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out in what will be the first career meeting between the pair.

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Caroline Garcia vs. CoCo Vandeweghe, Stuttgart SF Preview

Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart SF #1 Preview
🇫🇷 (6) Caroline Garcia vs. 🇺🇸 (wc) CoCo Vandeweghe

Caroline Garcia and CoCo Vandeweghe will do battle in Saturday’s first semi-final from the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart. Garcia and Vandeweghe both head into this semi-final clash with a heap of momentum, both have claimed multiple victories over top quality opposition on route to the final 4. This promises to be an exciting clash between two flashy opponents, who be the first to book their ticket in Sundays final?

Caroline Garcia of France in action during her quarter-final match at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Caroline Garcia is having her best week of the season thus far. Garcia started the week in style as she came from a set down to defeat 3-time former Stuttgart champion Maria Sharapova 2-6 7-6 6-4. Garcia has gone the distance in all 3 of her matches this week, typical of the Frenchwoman who is one of the tour’s 3 set specialists. In the second round Garcia scrapped past Marta Kostyuk 6-1 3-6 7-5 while it was at the quarter-final stage that Garcia claimed her biggest win, a 6-7 6-4 6-2 win over Elina Svitolina. Garcia fought back from a set and a break down to win her third consecutive match over Svitolina, incredibly Garcia lost the opening set in a tiebreak in all 3 of those victories.

CoCo Vandeweghe has put together a surprisingly impressive run in Stuttgart. Vandeweghe blasted past Stephens in the opening round where she dropped just 1 game before battling past defending champion Laura Siegemund in 3 sets. Like Garcia, it was at the quarter-final stage where Vandeweghe claimed her biggest scalp, a 6-4 6-1 win over world number 1 Simona Halep. On paper Vandeweghe’s win over Halep was one of the biggest of her career, especially given it was on the American’s least preferred surface. The highlight of Vandeweghe’s game this week has been her serve, her biggest weapon is working well.

The H2H record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece heading into this match. Both of their previous matches were in Wuhan, Garcia won 6-3 6-2 in 2014 whilst more recently it was Vandeweghe who won 6-3 6-7 7-6 in 2015.

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Jelena Ostapenko vs. Karolina Pliskova, Stuttgart QF Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart QF Preview
🇱🇻 (4) Jelena Ostapenko vs. 🇨🇿 (5) Karolina Pliskova

The fourth and final quarter-final on Friday in Stuttgart is the pick of the bunch as the reigning Roland Garros champion comes up against an in-form Karolina Pliskova. Ostapenko and Pliskova are both playing great tennis in recent times, both will head into this match with a heap of confidence and an aggressive attitude, expect an exciting match between two big hitters.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in action at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Jelena Ostapenko kick-started her Stuttgart campaign in style with a commanding 6-3 6-0 win over Zarina Diyas. It took Ostapenko a while to get going but once she found her rhythm she proved to be a class above Diyas. Ostapenko has now won 8 of her last 9 matches, the Latvian has certainly turned a corner after making a slow start to the year.

Karolina Pliskova is having a great week in Stuttgart. Pliskova was involved in the Czech Republic’s Fed Cup semi-final over Germany at the weekend and is now into her 7th quarter-final in 2018 at her 7th event. Pliskova started the event with a commanding 6-2 6-2 win over Kiki Bertens before beating Veronika Kudermetova 7-6 6-3. Pliskova fired a huge 15 aces past Kudermetova in her second round win.

Pliskova holds a 2-1 H2H record over Ostapenko. The pair played out a memorable match at the Australian Open last year which Pliskova won 10-8 in the third set. More recently Ostapenko thrashed Pliskova 6-3 6-1 at the WTA finals last year (in what was actually a dead rubber).

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Anett Kontaveit vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Stuttgart QF Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart QF Preview
🇪🇪 Anett Kontaveit vs. 🇷🇺 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

A huge opportunity presents itself to Anett Kontaveit and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova when they meet at the quarter-final stage of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Friday. This is an interesting encounter between two players that have struggled in recent times, suddenly they find themselves with an opportunity to reach the semi-final stage of a big premier level event. Who will step up and make the most this opportunity?

Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in action at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Both Kontaveit and Pavlyuchenkova received a stroke of luck in their second round matches in Stuttgart yesterday as both benefited from the retirement of their more fancied opposition. Kontaveit raced to a 6-0 2-0 lead before Angelique Kerber was forced to retire whilst Pavlyuchenkova won a right opening set 7-5 over Garbine Muguruza before the Spaniard retired.

Both claimed meaningful victories in the opening round. Kontaveit snapped a 4-match losing streak to beat Kristina Mladenovic 5-7 7-6 7-6 whilst Pavlyuchenkova claimed her biggest win of the year as she beat Madison Keys 7-6 5-7 6-4.

The H2H record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Kontaveit upset Pavlyuchenkova at the second round stage of the U.S Open in 2015, a 7-5 6-4 win. More recently it was Pavlyuchenkova who beat the Estonian 6-4 6-4 at Indian Wells last year.

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Elina Svitolina vs. Caroline Garcia, Stuttgart QF Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart QF Preview
🇺🇦 (3) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇫🇷 (6) Caroline Garcia

Elina Svitolina and Caroline Garcia will renew hostilities when they meet at the quarter-final stage of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Friday. Garcia got the better of Svitolina on 2 occasions last year, on both occasions Svitolina was in a winning position, the Ukrainian will head into this match with a point to prove and revenge on her mind.

Caroline Garcia of France in action at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Svitolina and Garcia both survived scares in the second round against talented young opponents. Svitolina was totally outplayed by Marketa Vondrousova but her Czech opponent’s level soon deteriorated before she retired injured in the third set. Meanwhile, Garcia was pushed deep into a third set by Marta Kostyuk. Garcia’s experience ultimately played a big part at the pointy end of the match as the Frenchwoman claimed a 6-1 3-6 7-5 victory. Garcia did also produce a strong opening round performance where she beat Maria Sharapova in 3 sets whilst Svitolina received a bye through the opening round.

It is Garcia who heads into this match with a 2-1 H2H advantage. Svitolina easily beat Garcia in their first meeting in Cincinnati back in 2015 but it is Garcia who won their two recent matches at the end of last year. A 6-7 7-5 7-6 win in Beijing and a 6-7 6-3 7-5 win at the WTA Finals. Can Svitolina get revenge in Stuttgart?

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Simona Halep vs. CoCo Vandeweghe, Stuttgart QF Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart QF Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇺🇸 (wc) CoCo Vandeweghe

World number 1 Simona Halep will take on big-serving American CoCo Vandeweghe in the first quarter-final of the day from the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Friday. Halep will enter this clash as the strong favourite, the Romanian is widely seen as the tour’s best on a clay court whilst Vandeweghe herself admits that clay is not a good surface for her. Halep easily accounted for Vandeweghe is their only previous meeting last year but Vandeweghe’s form across her first few matches in Stuttgart suggest that she can make this a more competitive match.

Simona Halep of Romania in action at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Simona Halep came through a stern test in the second round after receiving a bye through the opening round. Halep fought from a set and a break down to claim a 4-6 6-2 6-3 win over Magdalena Rybarikova. It was another gutsy win for Halep in 2018, often it has been the case that she has managed to fight back from dangerous situations, something she has not been able to do in the past. Halep is now 1 win away from equally her 2017 run to the semi-finals in Stuttgart but will be hoping to go a couple of steps better in 2018.

CoCo Vandeweghe is having a surprisingly good week. The American started her Stuttgart campaign with a crushing 6-1 6-0 demolition of Sloane Stephens before producing a solid performance to eliminate last year’s champion Laura Siegemund with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory. Vandeweghe’s serve has been working particularly well across her first couple of matches, Vandeweghe is always a threat when her big weapon is firing.

The only previous match between the pair took place in Madrid last year. It was Halep who claimed a comfortable 6-1 6-1 victory. Vandeweghe will be hoping to cause a lot more issue for the Romanian here.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Stuttgart R2 Preview

Porsche Tennis GP, Stuttgart R2 Preview
🇪🇸 (2) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇷🇺 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

The pick of the second round matches on Thursday from the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix sees the second seeded Garbine Muguruza kick-start her Stuttgart campaign with a potentially difficult clash against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Garbine Muguruza arrives in Stuttgart on a high having helped guide Spain to a 3-0 victory over Paraguay in their Fed Cup world group 2 playoff and having won the title in Monterrey prior to that. Muguruza also holds a 3-0 H2H record over Pavlyuchenkova, all signs seemingly point to a Muguruza win.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in action at the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Muguruza seems to finally be working her way into form in 2018. It was in Monterrey where Muguruza committed to building her confidence at the International level, dropping just 1 set on route to the title. More recently Muguruza was involved in Spain’s Fed Cup world group 2 playoff victory over Paraguay. The reigning Wimbledon champion was surprisingly pushed all the way in her first match with Montserrat Gonzalez before claiming a straight set win over Veronica Cepede Royg to end the tie. Muguruza will be hoping to continue to build momentum in Stuttgart as she seeks to add some more big title to her trophy cabinet.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova had made a horror start to 2018 but there have been some good signs for the Russian of late. Pavlyuchenkova had a good victory over Anastasija Sevastova during Russia’s Fed Cup world group 2 playoff defeat at the hands of Latvia on the weekend. Pavlyuchenkova started her Stuttgart campaign with a critical 7-6 5-7 6-4 win over Madison Keys, her biggest win of the season to date. Pavlyuchenkova looked to be heading for a straight set win for most of the match but did well to regroup in the third set and finally clinch victory in a match that lasted over 3 hours.

It is Muguruza who enters this match with a 3-0 H2H advantage. The most recent match between the pair was in Cincinnati in 2016, a 7-5 6-1 win for Muguruza. This will be their first career meeting on clay.

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