Day 5 – Dubai Predictions
Muguruza d. Kasatkina in two sets
Kerber d. Svitolina in two sets – Preview
Day 4 – Dubai Predictions
Svitolina d. Osaka in two sets – Osaka has beaten Svitolina before and troubled her with her deep and penetrating groundstrokes but I don’t think she will be able to find the court in the big moments, with Svitolina winning with her more solid play.
Kerber d. Pliskova in two sets – Watched both of their second round matches and I’m pretty sure Kerber wins this. Pliskova was largely lackustre and hit-and-miss in her three-set match against Suarez Navarro, with her serve the only impressive part in yesterday’s match. Kerber has been very impressive in 2018 and her counter-punching should frustrate Pliskova into too many errors. Kerber also leads the head to head, 6-3.
Garcia d. Muguruza in three sets – Tough to call, an improving Muguruza in 2018 would take this but a late finish last night could be the undoing of her many errors. Garcia has won her two matches in Dubai in straights and looks really comfortable on these courts.
Vesnina d. Kasatkina in three sets – This is a really hard one to predict. Vesnina has been erratic of late and even her win against Ostapenko was mostly because of the latter’s errors. Kasatkina is the way more consistent player, but a three hour match ending midnight should have taken away a ton of energy. I think this could be a scrappy match but Vesnina’s extra energy should take her through…
Day 3 – Dubai Predictions
Pliskova d. Suarez Navarro in two sets – Suarez Navarro has troubled Pliskova in the past – their head to head tied at 3-3, but Pliskova had won their last two meetings in straight sets. Contemplated three sets, but I think Pliskova will rebound back strongly from Doha and trouble CSN with her pace.
Ostapenko d. Vesnina in three sets – Both players’ inconsistent styles and inconsistent form means that this could go either way. Vesnina has only collected two wins this year, while Ostapenko is not as shabby but still at a low win count of 5. In the big moments, Ostapenko is the more clutch player, thus I am going for her to edge this out in three, messy sets.
Svitolina d. Wang in two sets – This could be a tough match for Svitolina, Wang pushed her to three tight sets in their last meeting. Wang has a similar game-style to Svitolina, with her error count usually low, thus Svitolina will need to play a more aggressive match than her ones this year to be able to hit through Wang. I still think Svitolina can pull this off in two, tight sets with her experience.
Konta d. Kasatkina in three sets – While Kasatkina served very poorly in her first round match, a good win should be able to give her some confidence against Konta. Konta can handle Kasatkina’s topspin and hit through her, but some inconsistency has derailed her in 2018, thus I predict the Brit will need three sets to get the win.
Muguruza d. Bellis in two sets – A final run in Doha will definitely boost Muguruza’s confidence, but she didn’t face too many difficult opponents along the way. While I am still not confident that Muguruza has already found her form, I think her experience and hard-hitting is something Bellis cannot overcome.
Osaka d. Kontaveit in three sets – Battle of the young hard-hitters, both can go awry but a little more confident with Osaka as Kontaveit has been struggling to close out matches of late.
Kerber d. Errani in two sets – Kerber has struggled in this match-up in the past as Errani gives little pace to the German to work with. I think this could be tricky for Kerber, but with Errani in her early days of her comeback, I don’t think she can handle an in-form top 10 opponent.
Garcia d. Makarova in two sets – Not convinced with Makarova this year at all while Garcia has been gritting out the wins while not at her best.
Day 2 – Dubai Predictions
Mertens d. Bellis in three sets – Mertens posted on Twitter that she had just recovered from food poisoning so I would guess she will get off to a slower start here. When both at peak, Mertens has that little more firepower and more experience and I suspect this match will come down to a tight third set where those factors come into play.
Kontaveit d. Stosur in three sets – Stosur’s form has been inconsistent throughout the past years and I am not sure she can handle Kontaveit’s power.
Kerber d. Strycova in two sets – Both have had good starts to the year but Kerber leads the head to head 6-1 and has never lost to Strycova on hard courts.
Q.Wang d. Bertens in two sets – Bertens is another player that has just recovered from illness. I have never been convinced with Bertens on fast hard courts and Wang, who came in as a lucky loser, should be accustomed to the Dubai conditions and be way too solid for Bertens. Wang reached the quarterfinals here last year.
Suarez Navarro d. Zhuk in three sets – Zhuk is a promising young player who has a ton of firepower to cause Suarez Navarro problems, but the Spaniard’s more solid play and more experience should be the key factor to her win.
Errani d. Tsurenko in two sets – Tsurenko’s results and form in 2018 have been super up and down; against a consistent player in Errani I don’t think she will be able to break the Italian’s game down. Errani is a former champion in Dubai and should like the conditions.
Day 1 – Dubai Predictions
Vesnina d. Peng in two sets – Peng has been playing on one leg this year – I don’t understand why Peng doesn’t want to take a break after undergoing knee surgery! Vesnina’s form hasn’t been that good either this year but if she doesn’t win this one, I don’t know how she’s going to stay in the top 20.
Radwanska d. Kasatkina in three sets – Their last meeting was in Beijing where Kasatkina recovered from a set down to beat the Pole. Radwanska is a former champion in Dubai and the courts here have usually suited her game. Kasatkina’s form has been up and down this week and her last match ended up in a retirement; not sure if she is fully fit for this one.
Mladenovic d. Osaka in three sets – I think Osaka’s big game will cause some problems but Mladenovic will come out unscathed. The Frenchwoman has been finding back her form of late, and easily has the variety to disturb Osaka’s momentum when at her best.
Konta d. Pavlyuchenkova in two sets – Pavlyuchenkova has lost her last four out of five matches and has been inconsistent throughout the whole of this year. So has Konta, but the Brit is seemingly finding back her form after a quarterfinal run in Doha.
Sevastova d. Makarova in two sets – Makarova has lost her last four out of seven matches. The gamestyle of Sevastova can definitely cause a ton of problems for the hard-hitting Russian who has lacked the focus and clarity in big moments in her matches this year.