With the seeds tumbling at the Brisbane Open, the top half of the draw has opened up significantly. Following the high-profile exits of Ashleigh Barty and Elina Svitolina, Petra Kvitova is now the highest seed left in the top half of the draw.
That, however, does not mean she has an easy path to the finals. Kvitova's biggest hurdle, American Jennifer Brady, awaits in the quarterfinals.
Having already claimed wins over Barty in the second round and Maria Sharapova in the first, Brady is looking dangerous. She has grown in confidence over the course of the tournament and her abilities were on full display in the match against Barty.
Moreover, Brady looks more determined than ever to make this her big breakthrough at the premiere level. However, coming up against someone like Kvitova is a whole different ballgame.
The Czech possesses weapons that no one else does in the WTA circuit. On days that her serve and forehand are firing, she is simply impossible to stop. She has only gotten more dangerous over the years, adding a proficient net-game to her arsenal.
That said, Kvitova tends to be quite volatile and can struggle when things begin to go against her. Unforced errors often creep into her game and this is something Brady must take advantage of.
The two women have squared off once in the past, in a match that turned out to be quite a topsy-turvy affair, with Kvitova coming out on top in three sets.
That match was just over a year ago and Brady now looks like a vastly improved player. To get over the Kvitova hurdle, though, she will need some help from the Czech herself.
Prediction: Kvitova to win in two sets.Published 09 Jan 2020, 16:25 IST