Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Stuttgart Predictions
Day 5 – Stuttgart Predictions
Bertens d. Kvitova in three sets – The pair played a brilliant three-setter in the finals of Madrid last year where Kvitova barely squeaked through. Bertens has had the more impressive run so far, serving great to beat in-form Bencic and former champion Kerber. Kvitova alternated between inconsistent and powerful and accurate play against Sevastova and seems comfortable on the clay of Stuttgart. Feel that Bertens is going to use her serve to great effect today and rely on her clay court skills to break down the movement of Kvitova.
Osaka d. Kontaveit in three sets – Osaka proved why she is the best player in the world after she recovered from a 1-5 third set deficit to beat Vekic in a third set tiebreak. The way she was able to loosen up and rely on her mental strength was just so impressive. Kontaveit continues to play well on the Stuttgart clay and I think she could pose a lot of problems for Osaka by taking time away from her, but after that impressive mental performance from Osaka I can’t see it going the Estonian’s way unless the Japanese player has a huge off day.
Day 4 – Stuttgart Predictions
Osaka d. Vekic in two sets – Great win for Osaka over Hsieh as she patiently outhit and outlasted the Taiwanese player in straight sets. Not expecting too much resistance from Vekic as Osaka just does a little everything better.
Kerber d. Bertens in three sets – Match of the day with the head to head is tied at two wins apiece. Bertens won their previous encounter at the WTA Finals (I watched the first set live!) with Kerber fading rapidly at the end. Bertens served brilliantly against Bencic, hitting 20 aces, while Kerber was at her counter-punching best against Petkovic. On the fence with this one but I think Kerber will do well to soak up Bertens’ pace and get a good win in front of her home crowd.
Kontaveit d. Azarenka in three sets – Azarenka’s played a whole lot of tennis coming from Brisbane for Fed Cup, and a late night finish with a three-set victory over Pliskova definitely won’t help her cause. Kontaveit continues to play well in Stuttgart and I don’t know why she always seems to bring her best tennis to the clay season, when she’s a big hitter! Anyway, I think she’ll overpower Azarenka and ultimately break down her movement.
Day 3 – Stuttgart Predictions
Siegemund d. Sevastova in two sets – Managed to catch the first two sets of the all Latvian battle where Sevastova alternated between smart clay court tennis and erratic play. Siegemund seems to be channeling her Stuttgart game against as she dismantled Tsurenko 2 & 2. They both have very similar games so looking forward to this clash. I’m going with Siegemund who plays so well in front of her home crowd and should be a handful to deal with for the erratic Sevastova.
Osaka d. Hsieh in three sets – The pair have met twice this year and having split their meetings 1-1, they will meet on clay for the first time. These two always manage to bring the best out of each other with their contrasting styles. Very intrigued to see how Osaka starts off her clay court season – normally the Stuttgart clay should suit a big-hitter but I don’t know whether Osaka’s still feeling the pressure and expectation from being at the top. Hsieh notched a good win over Q.Wang but Osaka’s going to be way more powerful. I think Osaka will be eager for some revenge pie and for some reason, I feel she’s going to get it today.
Kontaveit d. Pavlyuchenkova in three sets – Gosh this could be a really good or a really messy encounter. Kontaveit had a rather comfortable win over Garcia while Pavs needed three sets to defeat an injured Goerges. Kontaveit always seems to produce her best tennis here so I’m going for the Estonian.
Kerber d. Petkovic in two sets – Kerber leads the head to head 8-3, in a battle between very good friends. Kerber’s been sick since Monterrey but I’m not really feeling the upset vibes as Petkovic doesn’t have much to offer in terms of breaking down Kerber’s game.
Ka.Pliskova d. Azarenka in three sets – Azarenka continues to find glimpses of brilliance but she hasn’t been able to sustain it over a long period of time. Similarly to Kerber, Pliskova picked up a virus and will need to adjust quickly to not suffer her first opening round defeat since Wuhan last year. She’s the icon of consistency and I tend to think that she will escape this one.
Vekic d. Kasatkina in three sets – Kasatkina showed signs of recovery after a terrible start to 2019, but Vekic’s power is not one to look down upon. Kind of think this will be a messy match with the two’s inconsistent games. Still think Vekic will win this one.
Bertens d. Bencic in three sets – I know I’m predicting everything to go three sets but these match-ups are way too tough to predict! Bencic continues to be playing great since Dubai; so is Bertens who has been solid and her serve is a real weapon right now. I think Bertens’ extra clay court prowess will help her to expose the weaknesses of Bencic on clay.
Day 2 – Stuttgart Predictions
Bencic d. Minella in two sets – Bencic isn’t exactly a good clay court player with a 21-26 career win-loss record on clay, but the Stuttgart courts should provide her strokes with a little more oomph. Expecting her star to continue rising in Stuttgart.
Azarenka d. Zvonareva in three sets – This is the first time the pair have met since 2011! Azarenka leads the head to head 6-4 but wow, a lot of things have changed since then. Zvonareva hasn’t played much since making the semifinals in St.Petersburg but has had a few matches on the special clay here, which should give her a boost against Azarenka who just came from the hard courts of Brisbane in Fed Cup action. Azarenka has produced touches of brilliance since that match against Serena in Indian Wells, but still hasn’t been able to piece it all together yet – which I think should come sooner or later. Both players aren’t the best on clay courts but I’ll go for Azarenka who has enjoyed some success here in the past.
Kontaveit d. Garcia in three sets – Garcia played so well during Fed Cup action against Romania, but hasn’t been able to produce that kind of tennis on the WTA tour who is 5-7 outside of Fed Cup in 2019. Kontaveit isn’t a consistent player either so this totally comes down to who hits more accurately on the day. Taking a whirl and going with last year’s semifinalist Kontaveit.
Pavlyuchenkova d. Goerges in three sets – Exactly what was said above can be said for these two players. Since January where Goerges won Auckland and Pavlyuchenkova reached the quarterfinals of the Austraian Open, both have done nothing much of late – Goerges hasn’t won two matches in a row since Doha while Pavs suffered a couple of bad losses in Indian Wells and Miami, though she led Russia back to the World Group in Fed Cup action. Goerges had a neck injury a couple of days ago so it’ll be interesting to see whether she has fully recovered. I’m not sure if she’s the type of player that is buoyed by the home crowd either and with her erratic form, I’m going for Pavlyuchenkova to spring an upset.
Kvitova d. Minnen in two sets – Not expecting too many difficulties for Kvitova unless she digs her own grave (which she does sometimes!).
Vekic d. Gatto-Monticone in two sets – See everything said above. Vekic should win comfortably though.
Hsieh d. Q.Wang in three sets – Arguably the match of the day as the highest ranked China and Taiwanese players battle for a spot in the second round. Hsieh’s been wowing fans all over the year with her amazing game this year, and she’s just one spot away from her highest ranking of No.23 back in 2013. Wang seemed to suffer from an injury earlier this year but it isn’t obvious on paper considering her very solid results – she’s managed to win at least back-to-back matches in her last four tournaments. Both aren’t natural clay courters but they can do damage on this surface too. I feel Hsieh is more accustomed to faster surfaces? I think she could drive Wang crazy, that’s if she can get accustomed to the surface which is a big question mark.
Day 1 – Stuttgart Predictions
Mertens d. Kasatkina in two sets – Other than a first Premier title in Doha, Mertens hasn’t done much of late and has amassed a 11-9 win-loss record in 2019. I do think the quick clay courts of Stuttgart should provide Mertens with a little more oomph to her groundstrokes and should suit her counter-punching game. This can’t be said for Kasatkina though who has looked drained out of confidence – she hasn’t beaten a top 150 player all year! I think Mertens should win this one fairly comfortably if she can move Kasatkina from side-to-side and not allow the Russian many chances in the match.
Sevastova d. Ostapenko in three sets – One of the best matches of the Stuttgart draw featuring the two Latvians. Both players have been very erratic this season, especially the 2017 French Open champion who has had a 6-12 start to the year. To be honest I don’t really get what’s Penko trying to do – she started the year with a wrist injury, so why keep playing tournaments and drain your confidence with bad losses? Ostapenko’s on a four-match losing streak and is coming off a terrible campaign at the Fed Cup which she lost both of her singles rubbers to Germany, as the highest ranked Latvian in the team due to Sevastova’s injury. Sevastova does love clay so I was a little surprised to see her results on the dirt in 2018 weren’t that favourable. Still, I expect her bag full of tricks to be able to break down Ostapenko’s game, even if the higher ranked Latvian can lose her focus at times.
Sorribes Tormo d. Petkovic in three sets – Petkovic should be pretty happy after that win against Ostapenko in Fed Cup, but then again she didn’t do that much with Ostapenko digging her own grave. Sorribes Tormo is a completely different opponent for Petkovic and is the typical clay court grinder who will frustrate you with those high loopy balls. Sorribes Tormo has had three qualifying matches to get accustomed to the surface while Petkovic will have to recover from playing on those quick hard courts in Riga. I think Sorribes Tormo will really get into Petkovic’s head and the German will likely be too inconsistent here.
Siegemund d. Tsurenko in three sets – Queen of Stuttgart, Siegemund is back after making the finals of the 2016 and 2017 editions of the tournament, coming up champion in the latter event. Siegemund hasn’t had the best of years with a 9-11 win-loss record – Tsurenko’s had a marginally better 2019 but hasn’t done much since reaching the final of Brisbane. Don’t think the courts here suit Tsurenko and Siegemund always seems to elevate her game in her hometown.
Bertens d. Friedsam in two sets – Nice to see Friedsam bouncing back from her injury woes. Bertens should be way too solid here.