Fixture: (9) Petra Kvitova vs Veronika Kudermetova
Date: 3 May 2021
Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2021
Round: Third round (Round of 16)
Venue: Madrid, Spain
Category: WTA 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €2,549,105
Match timing: Not before 1 pm local time, 4.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Petra Kvitova vs Veronika Kudermetova preview
Petra Kvitova put up a strong display of power hitting to convincingly beat Angelique Kerber in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Saturday. The Czech fired a total of 31 winners en route to the 6-4, 7-5 win in an hour and 22 minutes.
Kvitova has now booked a meeting with Russia's Veronika Kudermetova, who took out the defending champion Kiki Bertens in her last match.
Kudermetova is in the midst of a breakthrough season of sorts. She started the year with a runner-up finish in Abu Dhabi, and backed that up with a maiden career title in Charleston. The 24-year-old's exploits have helped her break into the top 30 of the WTA rankings.
Kudermetova has also made a fairly successful transition to the red dirt. She reached the semifinals at Istanbul last month, and could well ask a few questions of Kvitova on Monday.
Petra Kvitova vs Veronika Kudermetova head-to-head
This is set to be the first career meeting between Petra Kvitova and Veronika Kudermetova, so the duo's current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Petra Kvitova vs Veronika Kudermetova prediction
Petra Kvitova enters this contest as a favorite on paper, but will be expecting some tough resistance from the in-form Veronika Kudermetova.
In Kudermetova, Kvitova faces someone who plays a power-packed game not much different from her own. Both women possess a strong first serve and are likely to win a few free points behind that shot, so the real battle could well be won on the second serve return.
Kvitova always steps out with an aggressive approach, and on Monday she will again look to take control of the match with her powerful groundstrokes.
The Czech has made some additions to her game in recent weeks, the most notable of which has been her use of drop shots and the occasional serve and volley. Those variations could come in handy against someone like Kudermetova, who relies heavily on her own power from the back of the court to win points.
For the Russian, the key will be to stay close on the scoreboard and put pressure on her opponent in the tight moments.
Kvitova has faltered in long matches this season, so she will definitely look to avoid going to three sets. But if the ninth seed can play with the level of restraint that she has shown in her last two matches, she should be able to come away with a win here.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to win in two tight sets.