China Open 2017 Predictions
Halep d. Garcia in two – This is so 50-50… I have no idea who to choose! My instinct is that this will end up a tight two setter though. Both have looked really good in Beijing – Halep’s serve has been looking extremely good this week and has noticeably been more aggressive while Garcia is surprisingly playing so patient yet aggressive even with that thigh injury. I have went against Garcia the past few matches because of the injury but I really suspect this one will be too much for her – Halep’s defence has been just supreme and the Romanian should be relaxed in this one having already secured the No.1 ranking.
Kvitova d. Garcia in two
Halep d. Ostapenko in three – Preview
Kvitova d. Strycova in two – Kvitova had another Peak Petra performance against Wozniacki and she looked really good. Kvitova has a commanding 7-1 head to head advantage over Strycova and always does well against Czechs.
Svitolina d. Garcia in two – I said in the Cornet-Garcia prediction that Garcia would probably be tired… instead she produced a super performance! I wonder if playing Svitolina, arguably the best counter-puncher this year, will finally tire her down. Also there’s a lot on the line for Garcia – if she’s out, she is officially eliminated from the RTS and Johanna Konta will qualify for Singapore…
Ostapenko d. Cirstea in two – Cirstea notched her first top 10 win of the year over a streaky Pliskova – she’ll aim to get a second against her doubles partner Ostapenko, but the Latvian has looked really good during the Asian swing.
Halep d. Kasatkina in two – Kasatkina beat Halep just a week ago in Wuhan in an aggressive straight sets demolition – however in Beijing, the Russian seems to have reverted back to her defense mode and against Halep, you can’t do that. Also the World No.2 is definitely going to be high with confidence after arguably her best win of the year over Sharapova.
Strycova d. Gavrilova in three – This could be a drama and drag fest. I’ve not been convinced by Gavrilova post-New Haven and the only completed match since was against a struggling, Kontaveit. Strycova seems in a good place during the Asian swing and won their previous encounter in Toronto so should be confident on this one.
Wozniacki d. Kvitova in three – Kvitova leads the head to head 6-5, form suggests Wozniacki but the courts here suit Kvitova. Wozniacki has played very well during the Asian swing and her forehand has looked very good throughout the year – we shall see if she can stay aggressive and counter-punch when needed – if she is able to do so I think she can extract errors from Kvitova and win this one.
Svitolina d. Vesnina in two – Head to head is tied at 2-2 but Svitolina has won their last two meetings, She should be way too consistent for Vesnina.
Cornet d. Garcia in three – We didn’t get Cornet-Garcia in Wuhan but we’ll be getting it today… more French drama? On a normal day Garcia would win this but she is feeling some fatigue from Wuhan and needed a medical time-out for an injury in her first round. Against Cornet who will always retrieve back many balls, I think Garcia will be too impatient and make too many errors.
Ostapenko d. Peng in two – Form, fitness, playing styles – everything points to Ostapenko for the win unless she produces a shocker.
Ka.Pliskova d. Cirstea in two – I think it could be a tight two-setter but Pliskova should ultimately come up tops as she does everything just a little better than Cirstea. Notable – Cirstea is 0-4 against top 10 players this year.
Radwanska d. Kasatkina in three – I think Kasatkina is a bad match-up for Radwanska with the topspin forehand and lack of pace but Radwanska has been improving her game in Beijing. Kasatkina will need to play aggressive but patient as Radwanska won’t give much away and if she does that, I think she stands a chance. However I think the defending champion’s defense and variety may be too much for the young Russian to handle.
Sharapova d. Halep in three – Definitely the match of the day! The pair just met in the US Open, where Sharapova won a thrilling three-setter. As we have seen in Halep’s seven losses to Sharapova before, her counter-punching best will not be enough and will have to try to inject more aggression into her shots and maybe surprise Sharapova with some drop shots. She will have to play a blinder to do so.
Svitolina d. Barty in two – Barty is coming off a career best result with the finals in Wuhan and I think she may feel some fatigue coming here although she has had a few days off. Barty will need to stay super consistent and patient against Svitolina, who looked really good against Zhu in round 1. Expecting Svitolina’s defense to get her through this one in two tight.
Niculescu d. Peng in three – I’m guessing this is going to be fun… Niculescu leads the head to head 3-2, and must be high on confidence after her first top 10 win of the year over Konta. Peng’s knee continues to be taped up and I wonder if she can handle Niculescu as the Romanian will definitely make her work hard with her relentless defense.
Sharapova d. Makarova in three – Makarova is the in-form player having at least won 2 matches in every tournament stretching back to Washington D.C. However, she will need to overturn a 0-7 deficit in their head to head to continue that streak. In my Draw Challenge I went for Makarova, but Sharapova was so impressive against Sevastova when she fought back from so many deficits. Makarova will have to play a blinder to get through this one.
Ostapenko d. Stosur in two – If Ostapenko wins this, she will book her spot to the WTA Finals… Ostapenko never seems to be fazed by any pressure and I don’t think this will affect her. Stosur is just coming from her comeback and I don’t think she will have the consistency to get past the Latvian.
Mertens d. Garcia in three – First time match-up, Garcia is coming off her title in Wuhan and she will be brimming with confidence but I don’t think she’ll have the consistency to get past a super solid Mertens.
Vesnina d. Duan in three – Vesnina won their previous encounter just a week ago in Wuhan. Duan has the weapons to win this one but I don’t think she has the consistency to get the upset.
Kasatkina d. Arruabarrena in two – I think it’s a good match-up for Kasatkina as she has time to set up her aggressive strokes.
Halep d. Rybarikova in two – Halep won their previous encounter in Toronto 6-3 6-4. Again, I think it’s a great match-up for Halep as the same reason as Kasatkina above and she can deal well with Rybarikova’s tricky game too.
Kvitova d. Lepchenko in two – Kvitova leads the head to head 7-0; don’t see Petra facing any difficulties in this one.
Strycova d. Goerges in three – These two have a fun head to head – Strycova leads the head to head 5-4 and won their last three encounters. Both have been playing decently during the Asian swing, especially Goerges who has been consistent this year. I’ll have a little more faith in Strycova for this match-up as Goerges can make a lot of unforced errors against counter-punchers.
Ka.Pliskova d. Petkovic in two – Petkovic leads the head to head 2-1 but their last match came in 2015. I don’t see Petkovic having the staying power and consistency to be able to get past a solid Pliskova.
Vandeweghe d. Gavrilova in two – When Gavrilova’s at her counter-punching best, I can see her extracting the errors from the Vandeweghe racket but she has struggled since she won her maiden title at New Haven. I was surprised to see Vandeweghe’s comfortable scoreline against Vekic and I think she’ll pull through.
Cirstea d. McHale in three – Cirstea’s actually been having a really solid year, I think she’ll be able to get past an erratic McHale.
Radwanska d. Zhang in three – Gone back and forth on this one but I’ve gone with Radwanska in the end. I think it’s a good match-up for both players – Radwanska can redirect the pace and counter-punch Zhang’s strokes while Zhang can set up her strokes with Radwanska’s lack of pace. Radwanska leads the head to head 3-0, and I think Zhang will have to play a super consistent yet aggressive game to win this one. We’ll see if she can face up the challenge and do it…
Wozniacki d. Pavlyuchenkova in three – The duo just met in Tokyo where Pavlyuchenkova’s hard-hitting but erratic play was no match for Wozniacki’s solid groundstrokes. I think this could happen here again, where Wozniacki will be just too solid for Pavs.
Kerber d. Cornet in two – Kerber leads the head to head 3-0 and was looking really good in her first match against Osaka.
Rogers d. Peng in three – Peng leads the head to head 2-1, and always loves playing on home soil, but she seems like she has been struggling with a leg injury for the past few tournaments. Rogers’ big strokes could expose Peng’s movement.
Stephens d. McHale in three – Stephens didn’t look really good in her first tournament since back from the US Open but I think she should be better this week. McHale has beaten her in the past so I wouldn’t put it past her to get a set.
Vandeweghe d. Vekic in three – Two big hitters, so who knows? Vandeweghe is playing her first tournament since the US Open but I have a feeling she’ll do well in Beijing.
Cibulkova d. Mertens in two – Cibulkova won comfortably 6-1 6-3 in New Haven – I expect a tougher challenge from Mertens but Cibulkova should prevail.
Strycova d. Muguruza in three – Apparently Muguruza asked the organisers for her to start on Monday because of a thigh injury. This could be problematic as Muguruza is facing an opponent who has beaten her twice before. Upset looming? Vesnina d. Linette in two – Expect a decent challenge from Linette but Vesnina for the win.
Lepchenko d. Tsurenko in two – Lepchenko leads the head to head 4-1, Tsurenko’s been struggling of late as well.
Zhang d. Putintseva in two – Zhang does everything a little better than Putintseva – also she’s on a high with the title in Guangzhou and always does so well on home soil.
Wozniacki d. Wang in two – Wozniacki leads the head to head 2-1, they both have similar games but Wozniacki does everything a little better.
Svitolina d. Zhu in two – Svitolina in her first match since the US Open but her for the win.
Ka.Pliskova d. Suarez Navarro in two – Suarez Navarro actually leads the head to head 3-2, but their last meeting came back in 2015. Pliskova is having her most consistent year while Suarez Navarro… isn’t, amassing a medicore 26-22 record, and 11-12 on hard courts. Based on her hard court record I don’t think she can do much to trouble an aggressive Pliskova…
Niculescu d. Konta in three – This could be a wacky and messy one… Konta is now on a four-match losing streak and is looking really fatigued after the long season, while Niculescu has lost 16 of her last 24 matches. The last player you probably want to meet when you’re low on confidence is Niculescu, who always works for every point and entangles her opponents in her web of trickery. I can see an upset brewing here…
Rybarikova d. Bouchard in two – Bouchard has lost her last eight of 11 matches and I don’t see her getting out of her slump against a counter-puncher like Rybarikova.
Radwanska d. Witthoeft in two – First career match-up between these two. Radwanska is not fully recovered from her flu but she managed to get two wins in Wuhan and wins are wins and hopefully it’ll help Radwanska rediscover her form. Witthoeft is also struggling of late with her last main draw win coming all the way back in Gstaad. I think Radwanska will be able to do just enough to win this one in straights…
Cornet d. Y.Wang in three – With Alize, anything could happen, so maybe this could go three? 😂
Siniakova d. Stosur in two – Stosur hasn’t won a match since her comeback, losing her last four matches. Even though Siniakova can go haywire sometimes I think she should be able to win this one.
Makarova d. Brady in two – Brady hasn’t won a WTA singles main draw match this year while Makarova is peaking this year and just reached the quarterfinals in Wuhan last week.
Arruabarrena d. Kuznetsova in three – Kuznetsova was clearly still struggling with her left wrist injury in Wuhan where she couldn’t use her two-handed backhand at all. Furthermore, Arruabarrena is the type of player that gets all the balls back so I don’t see Kuznetsova being able to get this one.
Bertens d. Petkovic in two – Happy for Petkovic to get out of qualifying but she has been struggling of late so much I don’t think she can get past a solid Bertens.
Goerges d. Brengle in three – The last time they played, it was an absolute rollercoaster where they went into extra time at Roland Garros, with Brengle winning 1-6 6-3 13-11. Overall Brengle is a super bad match-up for Goerges but I feel the German will be able to control her game and win this one.
Gavrilova d. Kontaveit in three – Kontaveit couldn’t find her range in Wuhan at all and she seems to have fallen ill recently. Gavrilova too has been struggling since New Haven and I think Kontaveit will be able to drag Gavrilova but ultimately the latter should get the win.
Pavlyuchenkova d. Davis in two – Pavlyuchenkova just reached the Tokyo final while Davis has only won eight out of recent 27 matches… everything points to Pavlyuchenkova.
Mladenovic d. Duan in three – Mladenovic’s on an eight-match losing streak but I can’t explain why have I gone for the Frenchwoman! She spoke some positive words on Wuhan where she described her loss to Siniakova as ‘one of the best in awhile’. I think she is starting to find her range after the injury and against Duan who hasn’t beaten a top 50 player since Miami and a top 100 player since Eastbourne, I think she has a chance to win this one.
Kvitova d. Kr.Pliskova in two – Kristyna hasn’t really done well since Nanchang where she cut her finger in a freak accident. Kvitova played a marathon three-hour match against Peng in Wuhan but she should have time to rest since. Kvitova has also an amazing record against fellow Czechs (read HERE) and should be able to match Pliskova’s power with hers.
Kerber d. Osaka in three – It was an encouraging sign for Kerber in Tokyo where she had her best performance of the year against Pliskova, but fell in Wuhan disappointingly to Garcia where she just gave up in the third set. Maybe it was the forearm injury, maybe it was fatigue. Osaka has had a disappointing past few tournaments too, now on a four-match losing streak. Their head to head is tied at a win apiece with their last matches just in the US Open and in Tokyo. I think this is a decent match-up for Kerber – she thrives on the Osaka errors but if Naomi finds her range then she can blast past anyone on the tour. The serve is an important aspect in this match-up – if Kerber can’t serve well then Osaka will definitely take advantage. I’ll go for Angie who always is the more solid one compared to an erratic Osaka.
Cirstea d. Barthel in two – Instinct is with Cirstea as she’s having a decent season whilst Barthel’s been struggling over the summer.
Vikhlyantseva d. Kasatkina in three – Vikhlyantseva has the superior power but can be erratic also and I heard Kasatkina has parted ways with her coach so I’m not sure about this one…
Sharapova d. Sevastova in three – Another repeat match-up from the US Open where Sevastova kind of shocked Sharapova in three sets enroute to the quarterfinals. Sharapova struggled with Sevastova’s slice a lot during that match but I feel the Russian would have learnt from that one and exact revenge on the Latvian.
Halep d. Riske in two – I think this is a good match-up for Halep to gain her first win in Asia this year as she has time to dictate the balls in this one. Riske is also low in confidence, having won only two out of her nine matches since Stanford.
Full Draw Predictions