2018 Stuttgart WTA Round 1 Previews: Strycova vs Siegemund, Pliskova vs Bertens

Day 2 in Stuttgart promises to deliver with a stunning round one lineup – the likes of Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova and defending champion Laura Siegemund are all kicking off their campaigns in Stuttgart. The blockbuster match is definitely Sharapova vs Garcia (read preview HERE), but the other matches should be a gem as well. Read on for previews for Strycova vs Siegemund and Pliskova vs Bertens…

Stuttgart Round One

1. Barbora Strycova (No.26) vs Laura Siegemund (No.100)

Strycova is on a four-match losing streak with her last back-to-back wins coming at the Australian Open. While Strycova has the game to excel on clay, she seems to prefer faster conditions – in 11 visits to Roland Garros, she has only 4 wins there and has never made it to the second week.

Siegemund’s comeback to the tour started in March and surprisingly she’s already claimed three wins – two in an ITF 25K event and one in Charleston over Natalia Vikhlyantseva. Siegemund’s known as the Stuttgart GOAT, having reached the final as a qualifier in 2016 and winning her first WTA singles title in 2017. This means though she has a ton of points to defend this week before a slip down the rankings could occur…

Thoughts: Both players are well known for their antics on court so this should be FUN. It’s still early in her comeback days but I believe Siegemund has the weaponry to outlast a low-in-confidence, Strycova. She’s so good in this conditions and a bundle of fun to watch on the dirt.

Final Prediction: Laura Siegemund d. Barbora Strycova in two sets

2. [5] Karolina Pliskova (No.6) vs Kiki Bertens (No.21)

Pliskova has had a solid but unspectacular start to the season – she’s No.9 on the Race to Singapore, but has never really got her game going – until Fed Cup. Many have been talking about Pliskova’s serve not being such a weapon anymore, but everything changed against Kerber in Fed Cup where she hit 15 aces. FIFTEEN. I was super impressed with her movement on the clay, and her kick serve was working superbly as well. While she endured a tough loss to Julia Goerges in her next match, I’m feeling positive for Pliskova over this stretch of the season.

Bertens is playing with a huge wave of confidence right now… when that happens, you know that the clay season has arrived! The clay court specialist tore through the draw in Charleston a couple of weeks back, beating Julia Goerges in the final to claim the biggest title of her career. All of her five career finals have come on this surface so clearly, she’s way more comfortable slugging it out on the dirt.

Head to head: The head to head is tied at one win apiece, but their last match happened in 2013!

Thoughts: Pre-Fed Cup I would say Bertens all the way but Pliskova’s performance against Angie is making me think otherwise. However, I’ll still go with Kiki. Bertens will have the time to set up her shots on the clay, and possibly exploit Pliskova’s movement as well. Bertens’ defensive skills are one of the best on this surface and I think she’ll use that to great effect in this clash.

Final Prediction: Kiki Bertens d. Karolina Pliskova in three sets

Stuttgart predictions can be found at the top of the page or by clicking the link here! Thank you for reading!

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