The bottom half of the Australian Open women’s draw may not have as much intrigue as the top half, but we still have a couple of interesting fourth round matches in this half that the blog will be previewing. Read on for a preview for Anett Kontaveit vs Carla Suarez Navarro…
Australian Open Fourth Round
 Anett Kontaveit (No.33) vs Carla Suarez Navarro (No.39)
Anett Kontaveit was backing up a stunning 2017 season and it wasn’t surprising that she was starting to lose some of that form at the back end of 2017, having lost her last nine of 11 matches. And she didn’t start 2018 that well either, coming into the Australian Open with a 1-2 win-loss record. However the Estonian has turned her fortunes around and is playing the tennis that saw her break into the world’s top 50 once again. She beat two tricky opponents in Aleksandra Krunic and Mona Barthel, before triumphing in a thrilling ‘Baltic Battle’ against Jelena Ostapenko.
Kontaveit was playing aggressive tennis in the first set against Ostapenko but was pegged back in the second set after committing way too many errors. The third set was a fun one, with both players performing exceedingly well on return games, but it was Kontaveit who eventually who broke for the win. It was a great win for Kontaveit, who has lost a couple of matches against top players when seemingly in the lead, but this time she managed to stay composed under pressure and it was a very impressive display of attacking and defending tennis.
There was a possibility of an all Estonian fourth round battle but a Spaniard by the name of Carla Suarez Navarro crashed the hopes of Estonian fans. Carla has been under the radar all week long but won’t be anymore with this match scheduled first on the Rod Laver Arena. Carla went 0-2 into the tournament with an encouraging loss to Elina Svitolina in Brisbane, but surprisingly fell in Sydney qualifying to Kristie Ahn. Suarez Navarro has revealed she had little motivation during the off-season, but it didn’t look like that happened at all in Melbourne Park where her defense and strong legs paid off with wins against qualifier Frech, Timea Babos and Kaia Kanepi. Suarez Navarro is the more experienced player in this clash and will look to use the experience to her advantage.
Stat: Suarez Navarro has reached the second week of a Grand Slam for the 13th time in her career, whilst this is Kontaveit’s first appearance in the second week. In fact this is only Kontaveit’s third appearance at the Australian Open and this is the first year she has won a match at Melbourne Park.
Head to head: This the first meeting between these two players.
Thoughts: As mentioned above, Suarez Navarro is the more experienced player and I suspect this match will come down to that extra experience. Suarez Navarro will just chase down every ball that you send at her and so even though Kontaveit has a super complete game, a lack of a Plan B and a more solid base level could cost her this match. I think this match should be very similar to Suarez Navarro’s win against Kanepi, where her potent defense will bring her to the win.
Prediction: Carla Suarez Navarro d. Anett Kontaveit in three sets
Australian Open predictions are here, you can find them at the menu at the top of the blog as well. Thanks for reading! 🙂