China Open 2019: Petra Kvitova vs Ashleigh Barty quarter-final, preview and prediction
While Kvitova has looked dominant in her wins over Belinda Bencic and Kristina Mladenovic so far at Beijing, Barty has been made to work, dropping a set ti Saisai Zheng in the previous round.
Both Kvitova and Barty have enjoyed plenty of ups and downs this year and the upcoming contest promises to an enthralling one.
Kvitova has had the upper hand in her meetings with Barty thus far, leading their head to head 4-1. However, it was the 23-year-old Australian who came out on top in their latest meeting, at the Miami Open earlier this year.
Prior to their clash in Miami, Kvitova and Barty squared off at the Australian Open and Sydney International at the beginning of the year, with the Czech recording memorable wins on both occasions.
Barty has had a breakout year, winning titles at the Miami Open, French Open and Birmingham Open and moving to the summit of the world rankings. The World No.1 tag is just a by-product of all the hard work she has put in this year.
However, her golden run seems to have come to an end as she has struggled in the second half of the year, succumbing to early exits at several tournaments. That is something Barty would want to address in Beijing, although she could not have asked for a sterner test in the form of Kvitova, who has the game to blow the Australian off the court.
After beginning the year on a sensational note with a title in Sydney and a runners-up finish at the Australian Open and Dubai, Kvitova has struggled with injuries and a dip in form. However, she seems to have turned her season around and is playing some top tennis in Beijing.
The upcoming quarter-final clash will be a battle between two contrasting styles as Kvitova, with her potent serve and powerful groundstrokes, will look to dictate play against Barty, who will need to rely on her natural variations and movement to diffuse the Czech's power.
An absorbing contest awaits us as Barty and Kvitova battle it out for a place in the semi-finals of the China Open.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to win in three sets.