Fixture: Andrea Petkovic vs Maria Sakkari
Date: 19 April 2021
Tournament: Porsche Tennis Grand Prix 2021
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Stuttgart, Germany
Category: WTA 500
Prize money: $565,530
Match timing: Not before 6.30 pm local time, 10 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Europsort
Andrea Petkovic vs Maria Sakkari preview
Former World No. 9 Andrea Petkovic returns to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix this week, looking to rediscover her form at the start of the claycourt season.
The German, who hasn't always had the best results in Stuttgart, will once again have her work cut out. She opens her campaign against the in-form Maria Sakkari of Greece.
Sakkari made a strong start to 2021, with a semifinal run at the season-opener in Abu Dhabi - where she scored wins over the likes of Coco Gauff and Sofia Kenin. She then had a somewhat undewhelming run in Melbourne, but returned to top form in Miami.
Not only did Sakkari reach her first WTA 1000 semifinal in the Floridian city, she also delivered some of the strongest performances of her career. The 25-year-old beat formidable opponents in Jessica Pegula and Naomi Osaka, and gave Bianca Andreescu a big scare at the last four stage.
Sakkari enjoys playing on the red dirt and has a powerful baseline-oriented game, which could give Petkovic a lot to think about.
Andrea Petkovic vs Maria Sakkari head-to-head
Maria Sakkari leads Andrea Petkovic in the head-to-head with a slender 2-1 margin. Petkovic took the duo's first meeting in 2017, but she hasn't been able to find a way past her opponent since.
Andrea Petkovic vs Maria Sakkari prediction
Andrea Petkovic hasn't played a lot of tennis in the last couple of years, and will enter this contest as a heavy underdog.
The German has shown glimpses of her best tennis in some of the matches this year. But she will need to avoid a slow start against someone as strong as Maria Sakkari, and also find a way to be more consistent when put under pressure.
Sakkari will step out looking to take control of the baseline exchanges and push her opponent on the backfoot. That's where Petkovic will need to use her varied and nifty frontcourt skills, and avoid being pulled into a battle where she cannot win.
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The key will lie in the German's ability to win quick points and keep her opponent from settling in. If she's unable to do that, Sakkari will find a way to get to the finish line.
Prediction: Maria Sakkari to win in three sets.