WTA Tour: Gstaad Selected Quarter-Finals Preview

Tennis player holds racquet

Damien Kayat previews selected quarter-finals from the Ladies Championship Gstaad taking place on Friday 20 July. 

Alize Cornet 1/1 | Samantha Stosur 15/20 
The top half of the draw is the one where the seeds have certainly run to form. Top seed Alize Cornet has really battled for consistency this year, a fact no doubt exacerbated by her controversial inability to show up for three mandatory drug tests. She has managed to escape that ballyhoo though her on-court performance has suffered. She lost her opening round matches at both Wimbledon at Eastbourne, not exactly the type of form a top seed usually exhibits. But her 17-16 win-loss record this year is overshadowed by a 9-5 clay-court record. It was an excellent quarter-final run at the Charleston Open that has really kept her season together. She beat Caroline Garcia before losing in a tight three-setter to Kiki Bertens. Her victories over Espinoza and Perrin have been at a canter and she will clearly take some beating on this surface.

2011 US Open Champion Samantha Stosur continues to fight the steady onset of time and has managed to instigate something of a mid-season renaissance.  Her season had been nondescript before a run- on clay- to the quarters in Prague. She then reached the quarters in Strasbourg before a run to the third Round of the French Open. She recently reached the semi-finals of the Mallorca Open and she lost a tight three setter against Gavrilova in the opening matches at Wimbledon. Stosur is a former Roland Garros finalist and will be hoping to continue this mini resurgence as we are about to enter the American hardcourt season. She will have cause for optimism looking at the head-to-head stats.

Stosur leads the head-to-head 5-2. That’s slightly misleading due to the fact that the two have never met on clay. Furthermore, while Stosur has won their last four meetings, their last meeting was all the way back in 2014. I think Stosur’s recent form does hint at a win for the former Grand Slam Champion. 

Eugenie Bouchard 6/10 | Veronika Kudermetova 12/10 
Canadian Eugenie ‘Genie’ Bouchard has really had a battle on her hands to try and regain relevance after several difficult years. Injuries and lawsuits were not aided by her off-court comments about Maria Sharapova last season. It just seemed to distract from her actual rehabilitation and showed how dramatic her fall has been. The former World Number 5 and Wimbledon finalist will be hoping that she can finally break her luckless streak this week. She has picked up great wins against Bacsinszky and eighth seed Golubic thus far. Her year up until this point has been dismal. She qualified for the main draw at Wimbledon bu failed to get though in France. She lost to eventual finalist Halep in the first Round of the Aussie Open and has only hinted at her best form.

21-year-old Russian Veronika Kudermetova is certainly a player with potential. Yet to crack qualification for a Grand Slam Single’s event. Having said that, she has won four titles on the ITF Tour, one of which was on clay in 2016. She won on the ITF Tour as recently as Yokohama this year and started to see a steady upsurge in results. She lost to Pliskova in the Round of 16 in Stuttgart before an excellent event in Hertogenbosch. She beat the likes of Anett Kontaveit and Belinda Bencic before losing to Krunic in the quarter-final. That event alone screams of her abilities. While she will go into this match as the unknown quantity, those victories against recognised players should have her brimming with confidence. She has also already beating Kuzmova en route to the quarterfinal here.

This will be the first meeting between these ladies. Bouchard is hoping to reclaim her place at the table of the tennis elite while Kudermetova is looking to force her way into the reckoning. Perhaps the question of motivation is why I would side with Kudermetova. She has recently picked up great victories over fine players while Bouchard seems to be content- perhaps slightly unfair to say this- with indulging the celebrity aspect of her persona. I fancy the Russian to emerge victorious here.  

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Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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