5 Memorable Matches from Stuttgart

The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is a special tournament… it’s the only tourney to be held on clay indoors! Many memorable matches have been played in the Porsche Arena, and before the tournament starts in a few days time here are five best matches in Stuttgart you should rewatch.

5. Caroline Wozniacki d. Simona Halep 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 [2015, SF]

In the first match on the list, Caroline Wozniacki eeked past Simona Halep in a 2 hour 58 minute tussle. Between two counterpunchers, it was an amazing array of defence and offenses from both players. A tightly contested first set was edged by Wozniacki, Halep dropping serve when serving to stay in a set at 5-6. The Romanian fought back to take a 3-0 lead, but Wozniacki showed her fight and levelled it at 4 games apiece. The ground strikes from both players were on fire, especially the backhand. Halep managed to take the second set 7-5 but looked tired in the decider, while Wozniacki took care of things and sent herself into the final.

Highlights of the Wozniacki-Halep match, made by porschetennis on YouTube

4. Petra Kvitova d. Monica Niculescu 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 [2016 R2]

This was my favourite match from last year… Stuttgart didn’t produce many exciting matches last year but this was a brilliant one between two completely different styles! It was the Romanian, Monica Niculescu who took the first set 6-2, bombarding Petra Kvitova with her variety and the lack of pace was too difficult to handle for the Czech. Niculescu broke at the start of the set, but the Kvitova we know suddenly appeared! She broke back and changed her tactics with the drop shots, passing shots and moving Niculescu all around the court. However the Romanian was unfazed and served for the match at 6-5! But Kvitova saved three match points… the first one with a fortunate let cord (!) and the other two with two backhand drop shots. After the Czech took the second set in a tiebreaker, Niculescu unraveled and Kvitova eventually took the 2 hour and 42 minute titanic.

Highlights of the Kvitova-Niculescu match, made by WTA on YouTube

3. Angelique Kerber d. Caroline Wozniacki 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 [2015, F]

Angelique Kerber kept her perfect start to the clay court swing intact, winning her second title in a row in Stuttgart. However it was Wozniacki who got off to a better start in the final, taking the first set 6-3. Kerber struck back though, winning the next six out of seven games to sent the match into a decider. The third set was epic, Wozniacki first holding a 3-1 lead but Kerber broke back. The Dane had even more chances than Kerber, serving at 5-3 3-0-30, she retreated into her defensive shell and the German, cheered on by the crowd, struck some wonderful forehands to win the third set 7-5. Sinking to her knees, she confessed that clay has now turned into a comfortable surface for the Kerber. In fact she is No.8 on the clay court power rankings posted by WTA today! If you can find full highlights, please tell me, the five minute highlights don’t really show the quality of this match…

Highlights of the Kerber-Wozniacki match, made by WTA on YouTube

2. Angelique Kerber d. Maria Sharapova 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 [2015, R2]

One of my favourite rivalries, Maria Sharapova seems to bring out the best in Kerber. Remember that Kerber-Sharapova epic in 2014’s Wimbledon? It was almost as gripping as that. Sharapova, having won the last three editions of the tournament, stormed past Kerber and took the first set 6-2. In her first clay match, Sharapova seemed comfortable and was seemingly heading for a straight sets win. At 5-5 in the second Kerber had a break point… and stunningly sent a forehand pass after Sharapova hit in right into her body! See it to believe it! It seemed to derail Sharapova’s confidence… after that, the Russian only won one more game enroute to her exit. It was Peak Kerber in the third set, she practically chased down everything Sharapova threw at her. Her groundstrokes, especially the forehand, was so finger lickin’ good. Hopefully she’ll be able to produce that sort of tennis this year! It’ll be interesting if Kerber draws Sharapova in the second round next week…

Highlights of the Kerber-Sharapova match, made by Daniel Abagero

1. Maria Sharapova d. Samantha Stosur 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-5 {2012, R2]

The best match of the Stuttgart tournament is arguably Maria Sharapova defeating Samantha Stosur in a gripping 3 hour 1 minute battle. The scoreline indicates it was a crazy match and indeed, it was. Sharapova seemed listless in the beginning, her forehand and backhand were just landing on the service line and Stosur duly took advantage to take the first set in an intense tiebreaker. The Russian seemed to improve slowly, her balls getting more depth. However it was the Australian who got the break first, and then even had match point at 5-3. But Sharapova raised her level, starting to hit more aggressively and snatched the second set away. The third set was probably the best of all, both women were hitting the ball so well holds of serve kept coming and coming, unlike a regular WTA match! Sharapova had her chances, but finally claimed only the third break of the match at 5-5 in the decider. She served out the match with a scream of delight, the intense encounter finally ending. Sharapova then went on to win the title, and the 2012 Roland Garros title.

Highlights of the Sharapova-Stosur match, made by aussiesharapova on YouTube

That’s the countdown, so did you agree with my list of the most memorable matches in Stuttgart? If you think I left out some matches, you can give some comments in the comments section. Thank you for reading and hopefully you can watch some of the matches!

 

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