Stuttgart 2021: Petra Kvitova vs Maria Sakkari preview, head-to-head & prediction | Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova
Vedant Chandel

Match details

Fixture: (7) Petra Kvitova vs Maria Sakkari

Date: 21 April 2021

Tournament: Porsche Tennis Grand Prix 2021

Round: Second round (Round of 16)

Venue: Stuttgart, Germany

Category: WTA 500

Surface: Clay

Prize money: $565,530

Match timing: Approx. 8.30 pm local time, 12 am IST

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Eurosport

Petra Kvitova vs Maria Sakkari preview

Petra Kvitova opened her Porsche Tennis Grand Prix title defense with a resounding win over America's Jennifer Brady on Tuesday.

The Czech overcame a shaky start before closing out a straight-sets win in an hour and 32 minutes of play. Awaiting Kvitova in the Round of 16 is Greece's Maria Sakkari, who defeated Andrea Petkovic in straight sets in her opener.

Maria Sakkari
Maria Sakkari

Sakkari is in the midst of a purple patch, having reached the semifinals of the Miami Open. The Greek showed incredible fighting skills in her wins over the likes of Naomi Osaka and Jessica Pegula.

She has also managed to make a successful transition to clay from hardcourts, as evident from her solid win over a seasoned campaigner like Petkovic. Sakkari will now be looking to carry the momentum into the match against the defending champion.

Petra Kvitova vs Maria Sakkari head-to-head

Petra Kvitova is the favorite for this match
Petra Kvitova is the favorite for this match

Petra Kvitova and Maria Sakkari have split their four prior meetings, so their current head-to-head stands at a 2-2 deadlock. But Sakkari did take the duo's only meeting on clay, courtesy of a retirement from her opponent.

Petra Kvitova vs Maria Sakkari prediction

Petra Kvitova enters this contest as a firm favorite on paper, but the defending champion will be expecting a tough fight from her opponent.

Kvitova ended her first-round match with a total of 27 winners, and will step out looking to take control of this match as well. That said, she has had her fair share of trouble finding a way past Maria Sakkari's tenacious game in their previous showdowns.

The Greek enjoys playing on the red dirt β€” a surface where she can make the best of her solid baseline game. She has powerful groundstrokes off both wings, but her real strength lies in her incredible fitness level.

Sakkari will definitely look to turn this into a physical affair, trying to force her opponent into over-pressing on her shots. That strategy has worked well against Kvitova in the past, and Sakkari will hope for a repeat.

That said, the Czech has made a few defensive additions to her game in recent months. If she can manage to control her aggression, she should be able to eke out another close win here.

Prediction: Petra Kvitova to win in two tight sets.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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