WTA Stuttgart, 2nd Round Preview: Caroline Wozniacki v Lucie Safarova

Caroline Wozniacki

In a seventh career match-up, Caroline Wozniacki and Lucie Safarova will meet on Thursday in the second round of Stuttgart.  Wozniacki had a bye in the first round, while Safarova won her first round match against Kateryna Bondarenko, 7-6(8) 6-4.  Safarova saved two set points in the first set tiebreak and broke at the crucial juncture of the second set at 4-4 before serving out the match to love.  I was following the first set on the live scoreboard and the tiebreak was a stressful watch!  Lucie hasn’t been great in tiebreaks this year, winning just 4 out of the 11 she had played before Stuttgart.  Thankfully, this was a reasonably drama free match for Lucie as she sealed the win in one hour and 40 minutes.

This has been a rather strange year so far for Lucie; she’s had a couple of really beaming highs, notably winning the doubles at the Australian Open and winning the Premier event in Doha.  Aside from Doha, her results have been inconsistent and she was unable to build on that Premier win with early exits in both Indian Wells and Miami.  Wozniacki’s year has been nothing special so far although it has been much better than the general tennis world has been letting on.  Half of Wozniacki’s losses this year have come at the hands of Venus Williams and Victoria Azarenka, which is nothing to be ashamed of.  Wozniacki is currently at number 10 in the Road to Singapore.

Wozniacki and Safarova are tied at 3-3 in their head-to-head; Safarova won their most recent match in Sydney last year, peaking in the second set tiebreak to win in straight sets, 6-4 7-6(7).  The other match I personally remember was Wozniacki’s 6-2 6-2 win in Dubai where Safarova struggled to keep the ball in court.  I think that coming through that tight first round match will give Safarova confidence and I think back to when she edged out Casey Dellacqua in a tight three setter in Dubai and then defeated Venus Williams the next day.  Wozniacki reached the final in Stuttgart back in 2011, but she has never played her best tennis at this tournament.  Safarova has beaten Wozniacki on the clay courts of Stuttgart before and I actually feel reasonably confident that she will do it again.

Prediction: Safarova d. Wozniacki in 2 tight sets

WTA Stuttgart 2nd Round Predictions

Ekaterina Makarova d. Marina Melnikova in 2 sets

Petra Kvitova d. Madison Brengle in 2 sets

Caroline Garcia d. Carina Witthoeft in 3 sets

Sara Errani d. Zarina Diyas in 2 tight sets

Photo in this post by Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

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