Fixture: (2) Petra Kvitova vs Diana Shnaider
Date: September 28, 2023
Tournament: Ningbo Open 2023
Venue: Yinzhou Tennis Center, Ningbo, China
Category: WTA 250
Prize money: $259,303
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime
Petra Kvitova vs Diana Shnaider preview
Second seed Petra Kvitova will be eager to book her place in the semifinals of the Ningbo Open when she takes on Russia's Diana Shnaider.
Kvitova has enjoyed a good season on the WTA tour in 2023, with a 30-11 win-loss record and two titles to boot.
The highlight of the big-hitting Czech's year came at the Miami Open in April, where she beat the reigning Indian Wells champion Elena Rybakina to clinch her 13th WTA 1000 trophy.
The 33-year-old then failed to do well during the claycourt swing due to a serious right foot injury. The Czech's physical niggles didn't deter her from going all the way at the 500-level event in Berlin, though, without losing a single set in her five matches.
Kvitova has had some quiet months since her Berlin triumph in June and is looking to make plenty of amends in Ningbo this week.
She began her campaign at the 250-level tournament with a 7-6(2), 6-1 win over Anna-Lena Friedsam in her opener. She then received safe passage into the last eight, as her second-round opponent, Yulia Putintseva, withdrew before their match.
Diana Shnaider, meanwhile, is a WTA tour mainstay but has struggled to win matches in 2023. The 19-year-old Russian's best result on the tour came at the Australian Open in January, where she qualified for the main draw before losing to sixth seed Maria Sakkari in the second round.
Having said that, Shnaider has given a good account of herself at this week's Ningbo Open. She beat local qualifier Zhuoxuan Bai in the first round in three sets before overcoming World No. 77 Kamilla Rakhimova for the loss of just five games in their second-round meeting.
Petra Kvitova vs Diana Shnaider head-to-head
The quarterfinal in Ningbo will be the first-ever career meeting between Kvitova and Shnaider, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Petra Kvitova vs Diana Shnaider odds
(Odds will be updated when released)
Petra Kvitova vs Diana Shnaider prediction
Kvitova has been a bit underwhelming in her only match so far at the 2023 Ningbo Open. Although the World No. 14 is particularly strong on serve most of the time, she gave a subpar performance on her first serve during her first-round outing against Friedsam.
In the past, the Czech used the 'serve +1' strategy as her go-to, forcing her opponents to hit short returns off her big serves, and then putting them away with his forehand.
She will probably be a force to reckon with on the fast courts in Ningbo, provided she is able to employ the above tactic to perfection.
Shnaider, meanwhile, doesn't possess her older opponent's easy power. The World No. 85 is a stable, defensive baseliner and uses her left-handed forehand to create advantageous angles on the court.
The key for both players will be to undermine each other's serve through pin-point, accurate returns. While the young Russian can hang with any elite player on a good day, she will most likely not offer much resistance to the 2-time Major winner during their last-eight encounter.
Pick: Petra Kvitova in straight sets.