St. Petersburg Open 2020: Petra Kvitova vs Ekaterina Alexandrova, match preview and prediction
Hard fought wins early in the tournament tend to be great stepping stones for deep runs and even title wins. Third seed Petra Kvitova would, therefore, be extremely pleased with her result against Alison van Uytvanck on Thursday.
The Czech eventually won the topsy-turvy affair, with a more assured performance in the final set. And she will need to use the confidence gained from that going into the quarterfinals against Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Kvitova destroyed the young Russian when the two met in Melbourne, just a few weeks ago. However, the upcoming match is unlikely to be as easy.
Alexandrova has produced some impressive performances this week and had a great win against the seventh seed Donna Vekic in the second round. She will walk into this match-up with some confidence despite the recent loss to Kvitova.
Also, Alexandrova and her team would have done a thorough analysis of her Melbourne loss and come up with some sort of plan to change things going forward.
The young Russian's pace doesn't bother Kvitova. If anything, the Czech star feeds off of it. So it will be interesting to see Alexandrova try something different against her opponent on Friday.
The conditions in St. Petersburg are definitely better for Kvitova's game. Minimal wind and lower temperatures mean Kvitova's serve and groundstrokes will be unflinching, even more so than they were in the duo's match-up in Melbourne.
Now whether Alexandrova has what it takes to stand the barrage is something that we will have to wait and see, but there are certainly a few things that the Russian can do to make like difficult for her opponent.
By introducing just a small variety in her shot selection, Alexandrova can try and upset Kvitova's rhythm, which is essential to the Czech's game. Sending Kvitova into an error-filled spiral is the only way that Alexandrova would be able to win this one.
Prediction: Kvitova to win in straight sets.Published 14 Feb 2020, 14:26 IST