Women’s Australian Open, R2 Preview for Wednesday: Petra Kvitova v Daria Gavrilova

Petra Kvitova

In a strange twist of fate, Petra Kvitova opened up her 2016 Australian Open campaign in the first round against the same player that had knocked her out at this stage back in 2014. In her first completed match of the year, Kvitova avenged that defeat to Luksika Kumkhum, progressing into the second round with a 6-3 6-1 victory. Understandably, Kvitova revealed she had felt nervous before this match. Her AO preparations were halted by a nasty stomach bug picked up in Shenzhen which meant she had played just one competitive set of tennis so far this year.

While Kvitova’s first round match turned out it to be routine, she will need to have her wits about her for a second round encounter with Daria Gavrilova. The Aussie prevailed over another Czech player, Lucie Hradecka, 7-6(3) 6-4 in a match that featured just one break of serve and TEN missed break point opportunities for Hradecka. After the breakthrough year, Gavrilova is facing the dreaded second season. The pressure goes up and everyone will know about her now… the early signs though are good with Gavrilova teaming up with Nick Kyrgios to win the Hopman Cup, winning singles matches against Elina Svitolina and Sabine Lisicki. While the ab injury that wreaked havoc at times in 2015 forced her to pull out of Sydney as a precaution, Gavrilova looks good to go in Melbourne.

Head-to-head record: In their only previous match-up, Kvitova beat Gavrilova in Wuhan at the end of last year, 6-3 4-6 7-5. Gavrilova had served for the match in the third set before Kvitova mounted an impressive comeback.

Analysis: When I originally wrote down my picks I went for Gavrilova in this one, but I changed my mind at the last minute. Gavrilova has the tenacity to make this a real slog for Kvitova and she proved in Wuhan she can run the Czech player close. While Gavrilova is certainly capable, I have a small question mark about whether she can stay calm and focussed if she gets into the winning position again. The crowd could give her a real hand in this one. A little on the fence, but giving the small edge to Kvitova…

Prediction: Kvitova d. Gavrilova in 3 sets

Photo in this post by Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

31 thoughts on “Women’s Australian Open, R2 Preview for Wednesday: Petra Kvitova v Daria Gavrilova

  1. Disappointing from Garcia- where is the form we saw in Perth?!

    But thank the lord for Ana getting her first win of the season.

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    • Hmm yeah, I watched most of Garcia’s match and Strycova was all over it. Saw a few bits of Ivanovic, wasn’t that impressed despite the win. Sevastova in R2 won’t be easy.

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      • Yeah I didnt think Ivanovic played particularly well, though she got better as the match wore on. I still think she’s in a dud part of the draw though and will be insane not to capatalise.

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      • Agree… I have Halep reaching the QFs but i’ll be surprised if she gets there. An in-form Ivanovic or Keys is good enough but wasn’t entirely convinced by either player.

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      • Maybe Ana should convince herself she is retiring and this may be her last tournament, it did wonders for Flavia, and now Zhang Shuai. Remove the flighty mindset and get to fighting.

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    • I think it will be close between Daria and Petra, but Daria’s beaten Maria in Miami so she’s certainly in wiyh a chance. I definitely wasn’t expecting Simona to go out in the first round.

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    • Quite a frank statement Frank. I’m hoping playing in the evening/night will be of some help to Kvitova, but home support for Daria will be everything.

      Simona Halep, much like Sloane Stephens were just outplayed by their lower ranked opponents. At least Halep has injuries to fall on, Stephens was MIA.

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      • I may be biased but the crowds were incredible. I was there to watch Halep vs Shuai match. I was expecting to see Halep playing her great shots like other spectators last night but I ended up supporting Zhang. The stadium roared so loud whenever Zhang produced winners. Halep was overwhelmed (I think but you have to ask Halep).

        Based on my experience in the stadium, I expect this will be the case going into this match between Petra and Daria. They do play at night therefore, I expect a full house tonight.

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  2. Some of the Round 2 Match Predictions for Wednesday

    Daria Kasatkina to defeat Ana Konjuh in 3 sets

    Lauren Davis to defeat Magdalena Rybarikova in 3 sets

    Daria Gavrilova to defeat Petra Kvitova in 3 sets

    Yulia Putintseva to defeat Xinyun Han in 2 sets

    Monica Puig to defeat Krystina Pliskova in 3 sets

    Roberta Vinci to defat Irina Falconi in 3 sets

    Kristina Mladenovic to defeat Nicole Gibbs in 3 sets

    Barring Sharapova all other seeds are vulnerable to an upset

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    • Agreed, after watching Radwanska’s first round match where she was poor and slow, I am not so sure of her chances against Bouchard.

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    • Fair picks Vivek, agreed with Sharapova. Even at the start of the tournament the only top two seeds I was sure of making the 3rd round were Muguruza and Sharapova.

      Genie is getting her confidence back, which is very good, but I prefer Radwanska in this encounter.

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    • Yulia Putintseva to defeat Xinyun Han in 2 sets – not sure about this one. I passed by the match between Han and Duque-Mariano and stood for 15 minutes. Han clearly can beat Yulia. Other than that, I do agree with you.

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  3. Home support works in 2 forms imo:
    1. Brought Dokic to the QFs in 2009
    2. Made Sam flop at her home Slam
    We’ll see how Dasha handles it tmrw. But #pojd for Petra, Petra for #2ndwin #TeamPetra

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  4. Predictions:
    Kvitova def. Dasha in 3
    Aga def. Genie in 2
    Kiki def. Gibbs in 2
    Puig def. Kristyna P in 3
    Margarita def. Nara in 2
    Poots def. Han in 2
    Monica def. Kulichkova in 2
    CSN def. Sakkari in 2
    Bencic def. Babos in 3
    Vinci def. Falconi in 2
    Sveta def. Bondarenko in 2
    Friedsam def. Wang in 2
    Sharapova def. Sasnovich in 2
    Magda def. Davis in 3
    Kasatkina def. Konjuh in 3

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  5. i was happy to be wrong…..Well done Dasha defeating Petra in straight sets 64 64,Dasha had a blip serving for the match,though some of her returns were quite amazing she broke Petra straight back.Petra was too inconsistent and all over the place.Credit to Dasha,first time into the 3rd round and defeating the 6th seed.

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  6. I’m sad for Petra too. Anyway I’d like to raise a delicate subject, as here’s what she had to say about the loss;

    “The two-time Wimbledon champion said she felt ”a little tired” and ”a little slow” and ”a little bit weird” during her 6-4, 6-4 loss – the third time she’s fallen before the third round in the past four years.

    ”I think everything was wrong, actually. I felt a little bit tired and without the timing on the court so I was missing easy shots unfortunately and not really doing what I should,” she said.

    ”It’s a combination the physical and mental things with the nerves. I just feel a little bit weird.”

    Kvitova’s preparations for the Australian Open were offset by a stomach virus she picked up at a warm-up tournament in China, but she wasn’t feeling any lingering effects on Wednesday.

    ”I’m not ill,” she said, adding jokingly, ”Maybe in the head.” ”

    http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2016/01/the-latest-sharapova-through-to-australian-opens-3rd-round/57293/#.VqDEYlo9ZpQ

    What does that say to you? Just guessing, but reading between the lines here I think it was her “bad time of the month”, but I can understand why she wouldn’t want to tell a roomful of mostly male sports journalists that (and Petra is quite a shy person anyway, at least with adults – she’s great with kids).

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