2019 Dubai Duty Free Championships Predictions
Final Day – Dubai Predictions
Kvitova d. Bencic in three sets – Didn’t have time to write predictions for the last few days, but I’m back for the final which features Petra Kvitova in her third final of the year and Belinda Bencic in her first Premier final since 2016. Kvitova looked so, so tired against Hsieh but when she’s at the latter end of the tournaments you know she’s never going to give up and will just give it her all, which is why her record at finals have been so excellent. I remember writing that Bencic’s just lost her spark since her injury return (scroll right to the bottom) and it seems like she’s found it again, having beaten three top 10 players in a row this week in Sabalenka, Halep and Svitolina. Bencic is a confidence player and saving six match points against Sabalenka was definitely where she regained some of that confidence. Her last two matches have been against counter-punchers though and Kvitova is definitely not one of them. As all Kvitova matches this week, this one will depend on whether she can fight through her fatigue to find the court with her aggressive strokes more often than not. Inclined to pick Petra here.
Day 3 – Dubai Predictions
Kvitova d. Siniakova in three sets – I think Katka actually has a chance as Kvitova’s form is usually shaky after a break. Don’t know though if Siniakova will be able to capitalise on her chances if she has any with her unstable and inconsistent form at the moment.
Svitolina d. Jabeur in two sets – Jabeur may have some nice shots at times but Svitolina to be too solid for the win.
Halep d. Bouchard in two sets – Don’t see Bouchard having the consistency at all to outlast Halep. Don’t think Halep will be too tired after her week in Doha but we’ll see.
Kerber d. Jakupovic in two sets – Hope to see Kerber playing better than she did last week. Kerber for the win.
Osaka d. Mladenovic in two sets – Both players’ form are literally heaven and hell apart right now. Osaka’s first match since the AO, but don’t see Mladenovic providing any resistance.
Ka.Pliskova d. Cibulkova in three sets – Cibulkova leads the head to head 3-1, but Pliskova won their previous meeting two years ago. It seems like Cibulkova played really badly in her first rounder and that was actually her first win of the year. Cibulkova though always thrives in the underdog position and I think she can take time away from Pliskova if she plays some solid tennis. Pliskova’s not 100% after picking up a viral illness, but still going with Pliskova’s immense consistency and solid striking to win.
Bertens d. Kuzmova in three sets – A first time meeting. This could slip away from Bertens easily with Kuzmova’s fiery groundstrokes and pure aggression, but inconsistency always seems to be the downfall of the young player. As mentioned so many times, Bertens is so good at defeating players she’s expect to beat and this should be a match where she battles and finds a way to win.
Muguruza d. Zheng in two sets – Zheng seems like a player who could trouble Muguruza with variety, but the Spaniard’s slightly more aggressive mindset should help her come through.
Tsurenko d. Zhu in three sets – This feels like a messy battle that can last hours and hours. You don’t know what to expect from Tsurenko but have to go for her with the huge difference in the rankings.
Sabalenka d. Jorovic in two sets – Jorovic actually leads the head to head 2-0, but Sabalenka’s come a long way since their previous meeting in 2017. Sabalenka to win comfortably.
Hsieh d. Sasnovich in three sets – Hsieh leads the head to head 2-0, with their most recent meeting coming back last week in Doha where Hsieh won 6-2 6-0. I remember going for Sasnovich in that one last week! Was impressed with how Hsieh played in her match against Sevastova though, and Sasnovich has been so shaky on the tour (six bagels eaten already in 2019).
Riske d. Cornet in three sets – Totally surprised that Riske actually leads the head to head 4-0. I thought Cornet would do better in this match-up with her bucket full of variety. Riske played well against Julia Goerges in both Doha and Dubai and the pace of the courts here should suit her. Cornet played well in her opener too and has history at this tournament but you can’t ignore that glaring HTH.
Garcia d. Brady in three sets – Garcia leads the head to head 2-1, though Brady just won their last meeting a couple of weeks ago in Hua Hin. You totally have no idea what to expect from Garcia nowadays – that 6-2 6-0 win against Pavlyuchenkova was surprising considering Garcia’s disastrous start to the year. Just going with Garcia?
Kenin d. Kasatkina in three sets – Guilty to admit I loved the slugfest between Frech and Kasatkina which had over 100 unforced errors! Kasatkina eventually pulled herself over the line but her game and confidence clearly isn’t there at the moment. It’s the complete opposite for Kenin who has had a resounding start to 2019 and completely crushed Buzarnescu in her first rounder. Don’t think it’s a good match-up for Dasha at all especially if she overhits too much.
Zhang d. Suarez Navarro in three sets – One of the most 50-50 matches of the line-up. It feels obvious to go with Zhang with both players’ seasons going in opposite directions, but Suarez Navarro has plenty of variety to offer and it’s not like Zhang’s a hard-hitter who will blow her off the court. Nevertheless. Zhang seems to be brimming with confidence on the court at the moment and I think the Chinese player will continue rolling on,
Bencic d. Voegele in two sets – Good win for Bencic against Hradecka. The conditions in Dubai seems to suit the swiss well.
Day 2 – Dubai Predictions
Vekic d. Jabeur in two sets – Both players are really inconsistent but Vekic has had the better start to the year. Jabeur’s got the flair, while Vekic has the power. Vekic in two.
Goerges d. Riske in two sets – The pair just played last week where Goerges edged a tough three-setter. I think Goerges will know what to do better in this match-up and stamp her authority here.
Ostapenko d. Brady in two sets – By ranking it’s Ostapenko for the win, but you just don’t know what you’re going to get from the Latvian. A minor upset alert, but nonetheless going for the 2017 RG champion.
Mertens d. Zhu in two sets – On paper Mertens will win this, but after her biggest title at the Qatar Open last week there could be fatigue setting in for the Belgian. Nevertheless I will go for Mertens but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this go the distance.
Wozniacki d. Voegele in two sets – Wozniacki’s first match since the Australian Open. Tend to think that Wozniacki will be too solid, but with inconsistency and illnesses plaguing her since her 2018 AO triumph, this should be tagged with a minor upset alert.
Pavlyuchenkova d. Garcia in three sets – Pavlyuchenkova leads the head to head 3-1, but Garcia won their previous meeting last year. No idea what to expect between two very inconsistent players. As usual, Pavlyuchenkova thrives as an underdog and her form’s been decent this season so going with the ‘upset’.
Kenin d. Buzarnescu in three sets – Buzarnescu’s on a ten-match losing streak and it doesn’t seem like she’s in a good place right now. Been very impressed with Kenin this season but this will be her first match since the AO, so expecting a little bit of rust.
Martic d. Siniakova in three sets – Siniakova’s 1-6 to start the season – inconsistency and mentality is troubling her so much right now. Want her to get back to winning ways but Martic’s solid defence and topspin game should cause Siniakova a lot of problems.
Suarez Navarro d. Strycova in three sets – Totally didn’t know that CSN leads the head to head 8-1! Barbora’s only win came back in 2009. Both players’ form have been mediocre in 2019 but siding with the HTH.
Cibulkova d. Arruabarrena in two sets – Cibulkova hasn’t won’t a match in 2019. Still, Cibulkova for the win.
Kontaveit d. S.Zhang in three sets – Gosh this could be a battle. A toss-up. Edging towards Kontaveit I guess.
Day 1 – Dubai Predictions
Mladenovic d. Al Nabhani in two sets – Mladenovic hasn’t won a match this season, but she should be a shoo-in for this win considering Al Nabhani has never won a set on WTA main draw level in her career. If the Frenchwoman loses this one I seriously have nothing to say at all.
Cornet d. Babos in two sets – A little surprised to see Cornet outside of the world’s top 50 at the moment because she has been showing some flashes of brilliance throughout the last couple of years. Babos has a pretty complete game but I am clueless why she hasn’t been able to piece it all together in singles. If Babos continues to stay in a rut then Alize for the win.
Kasatkina d. Frech in three sets – So Kasatkina got a win in Fed Cup but she’s still 0-4 for the year on the tour. I‘ve watched Frech a couple of times and she should be able to capitalise on the opportunity if Kasatkina offers a bucketload of unforced errors. Nonetheless still edging towards the higher ranked player…
Yastremska d. Muguruza in three sets – Yastremska leads the head to head 2-0, and is definitely the way more dynamic player out of the two. Muguruza continues to struggle on the tour and I don’t see how she can hit through Yastremska if the young player’s on a roll.
Lapko d. Bouchard in three sets – Lmao at Bouchard getting a wildcard. If Bouchard gets more balls into play often than not, she wins. If not, Lapko sweeps this up comfortably.
Sevastova d. Hsieh in three sets – This sounds totally awesome… the slicing and dicing on show should be totally amazing! Hsieh keeps on getting rough draws of late with Niculescu and Sasnovich in Hua Hin and Doha respectively, and I feel she thrives better against a big hitter as she can break the rhythm of her opponent. Sevastova suffered an early loss in Doha but I think this should work in her favour as she has more time to get adjusted to the conditions here. Considering she always seems to play well in Dubai, Sevastova to come through here in a well-fought battle.
Tomljanovic d. Zheng in two sets – Tomljanovic previously defeated Zheng 1 & 3 in Hua Hin… Expecting a similar result with the Chinese player not playing well this year.
Putintseva d. Tsurenko in three sets – This could deliver in the drama department… Putintseva’s playing a decent ball to start the season and I could easily see her driving Tsurenko mad with her moonballs, variety and antics.
Errani d. Jorovic in three sets – Errani’s first tour tournament since her tortellini suspension! Think her topspin game will cause Jorovic’s hard groundstrokes problems.
Sasnovich d. Makarova in two sets – On paper Sasnovich’s totally going to win this – she has 10 wins this season, compared to Makarova’s 0! It’s the WTA though so expect the unexpected…
Kuzmova d. Pera in three sets – Pera won their only encounter last year 6-2 6-3 in Guangzhou. Kuzmova’s talented and I think she should be able to solve Pera this time round.
Bencic d. Hradecka in three sets – So Lucie seems to be trying to get back in singles again and no matter her ranking, will always be a dangerous player for anyone on her day. Bencic just seems to have lost that spark since her injury return but is still a decent baseliner; she should probably be a tad more solid and secure the victory.