Tied at 2-2 in their head-to-head, Angelique Kerber and Carla Suárez Navarro will not only be fighting for a lead in the match-up, but a place in a first Brisbane International final. The Spaniard, Suárez Navarro, toughed out a topsy-turvy encounter with Varvara Lepchenko in the quarter-finals, 4-6 6-4 7-5, coming through in two hours and 42 minutes. While Lepchenko survived a marathon nine-deuce game at 4-4 to go within one game of the match, Suárez Navarro was the more stable player with the American player producing a string of costly mistakes towards the end. The win brought back memories from last year where Suárez Navarro toughed out so many three setters; the Spaniard went 16-4 in three set matches between Brisbane and Rome and is already 2-0 for 2016.
Kerber continued her impressive start to the year by reaching her first Brisbane International semi-final in four attempts. It wasn’t a peak performance but she was still very efficient in overcoming a player always capable of producing an upset in Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets. What was most impressive to me was how Kerber closed out both sets with some big serves. This hasn’t always been the case for the German player who can get tight on occasion. This time round, she looked confident and served out the match in convincing fashion to love. While the second serve remains an area of weakness, her first serve was decent and movement remains as sharp as ever.
Head-to-head record: Suárez Navarro beat Kerber in their last encounter on clay in Stuttgart in 2014; however, Kerber has won their last two matches on hard courts in Linz (6-2 6-0, 2013) and Sydney (6-2 6-4, 2014).
Interesting stat: In Brisbane, Suárez Navarro has won back-to-back completed matches for the first time since June last year in Birmingham. It’s her best result since the start of May where she reached the final in Rome.
Analysis: This match will most likely depend on Suárez Navarro’s recovery after such a gruelling match. The head-to-head is close and the Spaniard shouldn’t be written off just yet as tight wins like the one against Lepchenko can be real confidence boosters. However, i’d go for Kerber, who has looked in encouraging form, particularly in the last two rounds. Kerber has looked very assured and capable of raising her level much higher if required.
Prediction: Kerber d. Suárez Navarro in 3 sets
9 thoughts on “WTA Brisbane International, Semi-Final Preview: Angelique Kerber v Carla Suárez Navarro”
James, their meeting in Stuttgart was 2014. Angie won last year remember? I think you’re still in 2015 mood haha! 🙂
You’re right… still in 2015 mode 😉
Well done to Angie defeating CSN 62 63,Carla I thought appeared to be very flat,not taking anything away from Angie’s win,she was playing offensively,she has good pace on the ball,a good defender,at times I have been critical of her playing too defensive,well done Angie making the final of Brisbane!
I got up to watch this match before work and was very impressed with Kerber. She was aggressive and so quick to every ball. CSN did look flat and was probably feeling the effects of her match against Lepchenko yesterday.
I kind of feel your pain James having to wake up early to watch tennis Down Under:) I am in my element this time of the year,which sad to say does not last that long:)
Haha enjoy it, Margaret! Yeah Australia is a tough one for me. I keep waking up at 5am anyway because I want to know all the results!
This is why enjoy Australian Open radio, only second to Roland Garros radio. With the radio app, I can listen to it whiles making dinner and such in the evenings, and also when I do my early morning runs before work. Sadly, I do not enjoy the television commentaries as much. And it also reminds me that ‘ it always daytime somewhere in the world ‘ .
For me, when listening, the French Open atmosphere is the best. You can sense and feel the crowd. I only switch to the telly if the match is gripping or crucial.
I figured Kerber will make the final, I wonder if Crawford is capable of upsetting Azarenka.
BTW Madison Keys has withdrawn from Sydney,citing a forearm injury she sustained when on holiday:) another player bites the dust before the AO:)
I don’t what happened to Keys in Brisbane, I know she missed the entry deadline but I thought she had a WC. Anyway, not great preparation before defending SF points!