The second seed Petra Kvitova will take on the unseeded Slovak youngster, Viktoria Kuzmova in the second quarter-final of Dubai Tennis Championships 2019.
The two-time Wimbledon champion is beginning to get back to her best this season after an unfortunate knife attack had derailed her tennis career. This season, she made to her first grand slam final in almost four years, at the Australian Open, where she lost a close encounter to Naomi Osaka.
After the Australian Open, she has played at St. Petersburg Open. As a top seed, she was stunned by the eighth seed Donna Vekic in the quarter-final in straight sets. Her performances at the Dubai Open so far have not been that impressive as well.
Both Katerina Siniakova and Jennifer Brady have taken the Czech player to three sets in the first two rounds. Her game, especially her serve, has been below par in both the matches. Against the American, she had an especially poor serving day, where she committed a whopping 10 double faults.
If she does not improve her game, she may be in for a rude shock against the twenty-year-old Slovak sensation, Viktoria Kuzmova. In her nascent career, Viktoria has shown enough glimpses to suggest that she has it in her to not just be a giant-killer, but be a giant herself.
In the three matches in Dubai so far, she has fought it out against opponents with a never-say-die attitude and maturity that belie her ‘inexperience’. She has had her most impressive win so far against the seventh seed Kiki Bertens in the second round.
She came back strongly after losing the first set against Bertens and won a very tight deciding set tie-break. She may have been helped by a generous dose of unforced errors from Bertens, exemplified by her nine double faults, but it can also be argued that Viktoria’s strong return game was a contributing factor to those ‘unforced errors’.
Talking of unforced errors and double faults, Kvitova too has served them in plenty in this tournament. Against Viktoria, she will have to raise her bar. But she is a big match player, and it is expected that like her previous matches, she will do enough to get it past the youngster.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to win in 3 Sets