WTA Stuttgart, 2nd Round Previews: Svitolina vs. Vondrousova, Kerber vs. Kontaveit

The seven remaining second round matches will be played on a busy day in Stuttgart on Thursday. Seeds two to four come out to play for the first time this week, as well as home favourites, Angelique Kerber and Laura Siegemund. A recap of Wednesday’s schedule will be up on the blog soon…

Laura Siegemund vs. CoCo Vandeweghe

This is probably my match of the day 🤣. I’m surprised to see that Vandeweghe leads the head-to-head, 2-0 including a win on the fast clay courts of Madrid back in 2017. I was impressed with Siegemund’s level against Strycova and I think she’s going to drive Vandeweghe potty. I just don’t think CoCo will have the patience to stay with Siegemund’s unique brand of aggressive clay court tennis. I’m going for Siegemund in 2.

Elina Svitolina (3) vs. Marketa Vondrousova

Svitolina’s first ever match in Stuttgart will be against the talented Czech teen, Marketa Vondrousova. The 18-year-old has shown flashes of brilliance in 2018 and scored her second win over a world #11 on Tuesday when she beat Julia Goerges, 6-2 6-2. Svitolina and Vondrousova played earlier in the year where Svitolina won comfortably, 6-2 6-4 in Doha.

Vondrousova seems to be settling in nicely on the WTA circuit and has four matches under her belt on these unique courts in Stuttgart. I’d still go against the upset alert as Svitolina is normally a fast starter and handles the tough openers well. Svitolina hasn’t lost her first match at a regulation tournament since Madrid last year.

Caroline Garcia (6) vs. Martya Kostyuk

I’m fascinated by this second round clash as the 15-year-old, Kostyuk gets her second shot at a top ten player. Kostyuk impressed at the Australian Open where she became the youngest player to reach the last 32 since 1997. Since that result, the Ukrainian player has continued to dazzle by winning a $60k title in Australia and beating Daria Gavrilova in Fed Cup.

Kostyuk qualified for the Stuttgart main draw and won her first round match against Antonia Lottner, 6-4 6-1. This was the first time i’ve seen her play and I was impressed – the serve and transition game stood out for me. The way she carried herself on court was also noteworthy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kostyuk challenge Garcia here. I’m going for CarGar in 3.

Karolina Pliskova  (5) vs. Veronika Kudermetova

It’s been quite a week for Kudermetova who has yet to drop a set with wins over Petra Krejsova (6-2 6-3, QR1), Hsieh Su-Wei (6-3 6-3, QR2), Varvara Lepchenko (6-2 6-4, QR3) and most impressively of all, Carla Suárez Navarro (7-6 6-2, R1). I haven’t seen Kudermetova in singles so I can’t really give a valid opinion. I’m not feeling an upset alert after Pliskova’s first round display.

Jelena Ostapenko (4) vs. Zarina Diyas

All four qualifers are into the second round of Stuttgart with Zarina Diyas playing her fourth match of the week against Ostapenko. Diyas has a really solid game and can hit big. Ostapenko seems to be rounding into form and beat Ekaterina Makarova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Fed Cup at the weekend, both in straights on indoor clay. As with most Ostapenko matches, it will depend on her level and recovery from Fed Cup. If she’s off then Diyas is definitely good enough to take advantage. I’m going with Ostapenko to maintain her impressive recent form.

Angelique Kerber vs. Anett Kontaveit

I always enjoy watching Kerber going up against a big hitter so this could be a fun one. Both come into this second round match after confidence-boosting wins. Kerber produced a brilliant display to overturn last Sunday’s Fed Cup loss against Petra Kvitova, 6-3 6-2. Kontaveit saved a couple of match points to come out on top of a truly epic clash against Kristina Mladenovic.

In a match that i’d forgotten about from last year, Kontaveit beat the then world number one, Kerber in Rome. Kontaveit has huge weapons and plenty of heart, but is still too often one-dimensional and vulnerable in winning positions. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a little drop in Kerber’s intensity after Wednesday’s heavily anticipated match against Kvitova. Still, Kerber in two for me.

Garbiñe Muguruza (2)  vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Muguruza’s never lost to Pavlyuchenkova in three previous meetings. I’d actually chuck in a mild upset alert. It would be kind of unexpected based on Pavlyuchenkova’s form this year which makes me think it is more likely! I’m intrigued to see how Muguruza tackles the clay court season this year with surely less pressure compared to last year where she was preparing for the defence of her French Open title. Muguruza will be looking to improve on a 2-3 W-L record in Stuttgart.

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10 thoughts on “WTA Stuttgart, 2nd Round Previews: Svitolina vs. Vondrousova, Kerber vs. Kontaveit

  1. Garcia v Kostyuck
    Svitolina v Vondrousova

    My four favourite players in the event all in this section! I’d prefer to see Garcia and Svitolina come through, if only because I think they have a stronger chance of going on to win the title.

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      • Garcia, just to boost her confidence for upcoming clay tournaments. It seems that is the extra ingredient aside from talent that makes a difference this year. Especially when she goes to play in front of her home crowd..

        As to the actual tournament, I think a surprise may be coming. That bridge, probably gets blown to pieces!?!

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      • Yeah I think I’d favour Garcia too, for the same reasons. I feel like both of them are so close to greatness, but for Svitolina it’s going to be about winning a Slam and for Garcia it’s more about realising her potential. Because I still don’t think she’s aware of just how good she could be.

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  2. I was just wondering; if Marta does end up winning the whole thing, she’ll get a car (a Porsche too). Is she legally able to drive at all, never mind a sports car?

    Reminds me of Belinda (Bencic) winning a big bottle of Moet champagne when she won her first title at Eastbourne aged 18, but I think she might have had some help drinking that one 🙂

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    • It crosses my mind sometimes, and with players like Maria who wins these tournaments whiles already being sponsored by Porsche. I assume she drives an expensive one already. Plus that motorcycle she won, was it in Dubai or Qatar some years back? Does she ride it? If Kiki Bertens wants that Volvo(SUV) in Holland, does Volvo Automotive group send it to her home via a dealership in the Nederlands or does she have to pay out of pocket to ship it?

      Questions upon questions, whiles Kasatkina is just waiting to drive off with one of these..lol!

      Like

      • Good questions let’s play. I thought the players who won Charleston owned the Volvos they were presented with at the title ceremony, but it turns out the cars are leased to them for two years. (I’ll never forget Sloane’s reaction two years ago; she clearly wasn’t expecting to win a car!)

        Angie Kerber clearly likes Porsches. She was asked at Stuttgart a year or two ago how she would feel if she won the title (and the Porsche) and she replied, “Everyone should have a Porsche. I have more than one!”

        I think Maria’s got a Porsche Panamera (the four door saloon); there’s a photograph on the net of her getting out of one. Domi Cibulkova’s been photographed with one too, and I guess it was her car as I don’t think Porsche sponsor her.

        Liked by 1 person

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