By Ros Satar at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart
- We crunch the numbers between Petra Kvitova and Anett Kontaveit as they bid to win the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix singles title
STUTTGART, GERMANY – Petra Kvitova bids to become the first two-time WTA Singles winner of the 2019 season, while Anett Kontaveit bids for the biggest title of her career.
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The cycle of different title winners this season is in the balance with the Stuttgart result as Petra Kvitova bids to be the first to win two titles this season, while Anett Kontaveit could keep the cycle going, as well as netting her biggest career title to date.
Head to Head
|Petra Kvitova ||Anett Kontaveit |
This has already become a bit of battle of wills between the pair with a brief lead from Kvitova coming into the year, but with Kontaveit striking first this season with a win over Kvitova in Brisbane and they have one win a-piece on the clay, with Kontaveit holding her victory over the two time Grand Slam as a beacon.
|Titles (2019)||26 (1)||1 (0)|
Kvitova has by far the most experience when it comes to being down to the final two at the end of the week – and with two Slams to date as well as reaching the Australian Open final this season – the experience gives her the edge.
Year to Date/Career W/L Record
|All surfaces W/L||23-6 / 415-194||14-6 / 92-78|
|Clay-court||3-0 / 82-40||3-0 / 27-16|
Admittedly Kvitova has been around the block a little more than the more junior Kontaveit, and both of them come into Stuttgart having taken a break after Miami and so on clay at least they are more evenly matched, but perhaps the edge once more goes to Kvitova who has only lost six matches in 29, while Kontaveit has lost the same this year, having played a lot less.
Match Stats 2019 (Source: WTA Match Notes)
Kontaveit maybe has a little bit of an edge having conceded one less tie-break this season but there is not much in it between them.
Kvitova has lived up to her reputation of being able to come back in three sets, but has found herself dragged the distance more this season, and come out on the losing side more giving a slight advantage to Kontaveit.
While Kontaveit has been the more aggressive, and been rewarded more on her first serve percentage, Kvitova more than edges her in second serves, but Kontaveit’s returning percentage could make all the difference of she can get on that tricky leftie serve in sensible time.
With Kvitova having had a bye in the first round, and Kontaveit having a retirement and a walkover, it will be interesting to see how Kvitova having to come through a semi-final battle will play out, especially with very little to separate them in terms of total points won.
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What they had to say
For Kontaveit, it will be a chance to win biggest title of her career to date, and continuing the trend of a different tournament winner this season, as well as equalling her career high ranking of No. 14 with the win.
She has had the measure of Kvitova before – but how will things pan out this time around? She talked to press after World No. 1 Naomi Osaka pulled out before her semi-final.
She said: “Well, of course, I’d rather remember the time I won (laughs). I think, you know because we played … it was a Grand Slam, so of course it is a little bit special. It was extremely close, although the other times have been, too. I think because it was a Grand Slam that sort of made it extra special.
“It’s difficult to tell [how their games match up]. I don’t know what the secret is. Sometimes you just suited to play other players better than other players. I don’t know how to say it any better.
“She hits the ball incredibly hard, places it so well, I mean it’ a very physical battle for me always when I play against her because I have to run a lot and try to get as many balls back as I can, you know, try and make as many balls as I can, make her hit another ball if I can.”
While Kvitova has been around the block a lot longer, there is still very much a challenge in front of her in facing Kontaveit, having lost to her already this year.
Kvitova told reporters, after her semi-final win: “We played last year twice on the clay in Madrid and then French Open. I lost in French Open and won in Madrid. We practiced here before the tournament started. It was a fun practice. Hopefully it will be similar tomorrow. Tomorrow, there’s no German player so it will be on the both sides (laughs). And obviously as you said she improved, she definitely knows how to play, especially on the key points, that’s what she improved I think mentally as well. So, she can really hit it pretty well in those important points. I just need to be there and be ready for everything.”
Aggressive hitting is the mainstay of both players, and it will come down to fine margins. Experience is key though, and Kvitova knows how to dig out wins, especially as we saw in her quarter-final coming from a set down, as well as closing out her spot in the final in the decider.
She might be the more fatigued coming into the final, but she might well just dig this out when it counts.
Prediction: Kvitova in three sets.
The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix final takes place on 28 April not before 4pm (3pm BST).
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