Yulia Putintseva vs. Su-Wei HSieh, Australian Open R1 Preview

AO R1: Yulia Putintseva vs. Su-Wei Hsieh

A fascinating first round match-up at Melbourne Park on Tuesday sees Yulia Putintseva come up against Su-Wei Hsieh. This match-up sees two of the tours most versatile and entertaining players do battle with both very keen to avoid what would be a disappointing opening round exit at the first major of the year.

Putintseva has made a decent start to the year, the Kazakh successfully made her way through the qualifying draw in Brisbane and Adelaide. In Brisbane Putintseva defeated Donna Vekic in the opening round of the main draw before being smashed by an in-from Danielle Collins in straight sets. In Adelaide Putintseva’s man draw campaign ended at the opening hurdle with a tough straight set loss to Ajla Tomljanovic. With 8 matches under her belt across those 2 weeks Putintseva heads to Melbourne Park in a good space.

Hsieh arrives in Melbourne on the back of consecutive opening round defeats. Hsieh was beaten by Anett Kontaveit in straight sets in Brisbane before suffering an agonizing 3 set loss to Aryna Sabalenka in Adelaide from 5-3 30-0 up in the third set. On a positive note, Hsieh did win the doubles title alongside Barbora Strycova in Brisbane.

Hsieh has emerged victorious in the two prior meetings between the pair. Most recently Hsieh claimed a 1-6 7-5 6-3 victory over the Kazakh on clay in Rome a few years ago. Hsieh also defeated Putintseva on a hard court at an ITF event in 2015, a 7-6 2-6 6-2 victory on that occasion.

Putintseva and Hsieh have both had some notable moments at Melbourne Park in recent times. In 2016 Putintseva upset Caroline Wozniacki in the first round before reaching the third round, that was Putintseva’s greatest run at a Grand Slam outside of Roland Garros where she is a 2-time former quarter-finalist. Putintseva has claimed hard-fought first round wins over Lara Arruabarrena, Heather Watson and Barbora Strycova in her last 3 visits to Melbourne.

Hsieh went on a fairy-tale run to the fourth round in Melbourne in 2018 with wins over Agnieszka Radwanska and Garbine Muguruza before pushing an in-form Angelique Kerber to 3 sets in what was an epic match. Last year Hsieh made the third round where she pushed eventual finalist Naomi Osaka to 3 sets.

I’m going to side with Putintseva here. Firstly, Putintseva has won quite a few matches already this year, even if they were against inferior opponents in qualifying draws, a win is a win, winning momentum is important at this time of the year. Hsieh on the other hand has not won a match in singles this year. Secondly, I think the court surface in Melbourne will favour Putintseva. The courts in Melbourne are generally quite gritty and on the slower side, this will favour Putintseva’s heavier game. Putintseva can use her heavy forehand to get the ball up high on Hsieh where the Taiwanese player is less dangerous. Therefore, this is a good matchup for Putintseva on this surface. Putintseva can turn this into a baseline struggle where she will fancy her chances. The versatility and net play of Hsieh wont trouble Putintseva like it troubles others, it will actually work in Putintseva’s favour, the Kazakh loves a target at the net and is good at dealing with slice.

Prediction: Yulia Putintseva to defeat Su-Wei Hsieh in 3 sets

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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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Su-Wei Hsieh vs. Johanna Konta, Indian Wells R2 Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R2 Preview
🇹🇼 (27) Su-Wei Hsieh vs. 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta

Su-Wei Hsieh and Johanna Konta will renew hostilities when they meet at the second round stage of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The 27th seeded Hsieh received a bye through the opening round whilst Konta progressed to the second round with a straight set win over Pauline Parmentier. This has been a competitive rivalry in recent times, expect another tight tussle here.

Su-Wei Hsieh continues to climb up the WTA rankings. Hsieh has made a good start to the 2019 season having already reached a couple of semi-finals, including a run to the final 4 in Dubai a few weeks ago where she claimed notable wins over Anastasija Sevastova, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova before succumbing to Petra Kvitova in 3 sets.

Johanna Konta has produced some good performances in 2019 but ultimately has struggled to consistently play at the level that saw her reach a career high of number 4 in the rankings a few years ago. Konta arrives in Indian Wells fresh from a quarter-finals showing in Acapulco and made fairly light work of her first round match-up against Pauline Parmentier with a 6-2 6-3 victory.

Konta holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Hsieh. Konta has comfortably won the last couple of matches between the pair, including a 6-0 6-4 win in Rome last year.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here
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Angelique Kerber vs. Su-Wei Hsieh, Dubai R3 Preview

🇦🇪🐪 Dubai DFTC – R3 Preview
🇩🇪 (5) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇹🇼 Su-Wei Hsieh

Angelique Kerber and Su-Wei Hsieh will renew hostilities when they collide at the third round stage of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday. Kerber has made a decent start to the season and is seemingly on the cusp of breaking through to the next level, perhaps this week in Dubai?

IAngelique Kerber of Germany celebrates winning her second-round match at the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Kerber arrived in Dubai on the back of a decent week in Doha where she won a couple of good matches on route to the semi-final stage where she succumbed to the eventual champion Elsie Mertens. Kerber started her Dubai campaign with a topsy-turvy straight set win over Dalila Jakupovic. Kerber overcame a 1-5 deficit in the opening set on route to a 7-6 6-3 victory.

Hsieh has cruised through her first couple of matches in Dubai over solid opponents. Hsieh started the week with a 6-4 6-2 upset win over the 10th seeded Anastasija Sevastova before thrashing Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-1 6-2. Hsieh will need to take her game to an even higher level on Wednesday in Dubai if she is to claim her first career win over Kerber.

Kerber has won both of the previous matches between the pair, but both of those wins were difficult, both wins were from a set down. The most recent match between the pair took place at the Australian Open last year where Kerber won 4-6 7-5 6-2 in a very high quality match.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Dominika Cibulkova vs. Su-Wei Hsieh, Wimbledon R4 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R4 Preview
🇸🇰 Dominika Cibulkova vs. 🇹🇼 Su-Wei Hsieh

One of the most fascinating clashes on Manic Monday at Wimbledon sees Dominika Cibulkova come up against Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh. Cibulkova and Hsieh have both defied the odds to reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon, the pair both beat a couple of seeded opponents on route to this stage and enter this fourth round clash full of confidence. Cibulkova heads into this match as the favourite but Hsieh is coming off a huge win over the world number 1 and will fancy her chances of an upset.

Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in action during her second round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Dominika Cibulkova has blasted her way through to the round of 16 without dropping a set. Cibulkova has beaten 3 quality opponents, victories over Alize Cornet, Johanna Konta and Elise Mertens have seen her through to the second week at Wimbledon for the third time in her career. Cibulkova was the unlucky player that was bumped from a seeded position when Serena Williams was granted the 25th seed, however, it is now turning out to be a blessing in disguise for the Slovakian who is relishing her underdog status.

Su-Wei Hsieh continues to her reach new heights in 2018. At the age of 32, Hsieh is into the second week at Wimbledon for the first time. Hsieh started her campaign with a 3 set victory over the 30th seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova before comfortably beating Lara Arruabarrena in straight sets. Hsieh made her biggest move at third round stage where she saved match points to defeat world number 1: Simona Halep 3-6 6-4 7-5, the biggest win over Hsieh’s career thus far.

Cibulkova holds a perfect 2-0 record over Hsieh, both of those victories were in straight sets. The most recent match between the pair took place last year at the Australian Open, a tough 6-4 7-6 win for the Slovakian.

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Simona Halep vs. Su-Wei Hsieh, Wimbledon R3 Preview

Wimbledon, R3 Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇹🇼 Su-Wei Hsieh

Simona Halep continues her Wimbledon campaign on Saturday with a third round clash against Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh. The draw has really opened up for the Romanian and suddenly she looms as one the favourites on her least preferred surface. The world number 1 has been fairly untroubled in her first couple of matches and heads into this match as a strong favourite. Nevertheless, Hsieh is an awkward opponent and has a game that is well suited to grass, this could be closer than expected.

Simona Halep of Romania in action during her first-round match at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Grass has always been considered Halep’s least successful surface, however she has made it the quarter-final stage in the last couple of years and previously reached the semi-finals in 2014. Halep seems poised for another deep run at SW19, the top seed is playing good tennis this week and the draw has opened up very nicely for the reigning Roland Garros champion. Halep started the week with an easy 6-2 6-4 win over Kurumi Nara before defeating Saisai Zheng 7-5 6-0. Halep won 10 consecutive games in her second round win over Zheng having fallen behind 3-5 in the opening set, the Romanian therefore brings great momentum into this third round clash.

Su-Wei Hsieh is into the third round at Wimbledon for just the second time in her career, equaling her previous best effort in 2012. Hsieh is having one of the most consistent seasons of her career and has beaten some quality opponents on the biggest stages in recent times. Hsieh started her 2018 Wimbledon campaign with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over the 30th seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Hsieh confirmed her spot in the third round with a fairly comprehensive 6-3 6-3 win over Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena.

The only previous match between the pair at the tour level ended in a 6-7 6-1 6-2 victory for Halep.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Angelique Kerber vs Su-Wei Hsieh, Australian Open R4 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R4 Preview
🇩🇪 (21) Angelique Kerber vs 🇹🇼 Su-Wei Hsieh

Angelique Kerber continues to impress in 2018. The 2016 Australian Open champion is in awesome form right now. The German enters this fourth round clash having won all 12 of her matches this year. Kerber will be back in action on Monday where she will take on Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh. Interestingly, this will be the first career meeting between Kerber and Hsieh, this should be an entertaining match-up.

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Angelique Kerber has rolled into the fourth round at Melbourne Park with little fuss. The former world number 1 stormed through her first few matches, cruising past Anna-Lena Friedsam and Donna Vekic. Kerber produced arguably her best performance of 2018 to secure her spot in the round of 16, a dominant 6-1 6-3 win over Maria Sharapova. Kerber was very aggressive and capitalized on her chances at all of the critical moments. Kerber is shaping as the favourite to win the tournament, the only former Grand Slam champion left in the draw heading into the round of 16.

Su-Wei Hsieh is playing the best tennis of her life. Hsieh has caused a couple of big upsets to reach the second week at a Grand Slam for the second time, the only previous time was a fourth round showing in Melbourne way back 2008. Hsieh started the event with a topsy-turvy 0-6 6-6 8-6 win over Lin Zhu before eliminating the 3rd seeded Garbine Muguruza courtesy of a 7-6 6-4 win, Hsieh’s first win over a top 5 player. Hsieh backed up one of the best wins of her career quite impressively as she defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 7-5. At this point of the tournament Hsieh has nothing to lose and a whole heap to gain.

This will be the first career meeting between Kerber and Hsieh.

Agnieszka Radwanska vs Su-Wei Hsieh, Australian Open R3 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R3 Preview
🇵🇱 (26) Agnieszka Radwanska vs 🇹🇼 Su-Wei Hsieh

Su-Wei Hsieh caused one of the biggest upsets of the tournament when she eliminated Garbine Muguruza in straight sets in the second round. Hsieh will be back in action on Saturday where she will face a very different test against the 26th seeded Agnieszka Radwanska. Interestingly, these two have only gone head-to-head once previously, back In 2013 where Radwanska on in straight sets. Can Hsieh cause another big upset to reach the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time since 2008?

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Radwanska has certainly not been at her best in the opening stages of the event. However, Radwanska has fought hard and managed to come from a set down in both of her matches to reach the third round. The two-time former semi-finalist started the week with a 2-6 6-3 6-2 win over Kristyna Pliskova before beating Lesia Tsurenko 2-6 7-5 6-3. Radwanska seemed destined for the exit door when Tsurenko served for the match at 5-4 in the second set after the Pole squandered a 4-1 lead. However Tsurenko threw in a nervy game and Radwanska was good enough to capitalize as she controlled the match after that moment.

Su-Wei Hsieh is yet another player enjoying her greatest success at the later stages of her career. Hsieh claimed her first ever top 5 victory to reach the third round at Melbourne Park for the first time since 2008 as she defeated the 3rd seeded Garbine Muguruza. Hsieh started the week with a topsy-turvy 0-6 6-0 8-6 win over Lin Zhu before beating Muguruza 7-6 6-4. Hsieh’s win over Muguruza was certainly the biggest win of her career, Hsieh’s awkward game bamboozled Muguruza in the extreme heat.

The only previous match between the pair took place in Miami in 2013. Radwanska won 6-3 6-2.