WTA Tour: Kremlin Cup Selected Ro16 Fixtures Preview

Tennis player holds racquet

Damien Kayat previews selected fixtures from the round of 16 at the WTA Tour's Kremlin Cup.

Kiki Bertens 11/20 | Aliaksandra Sasnovich 13/10
26-year-old Dutch star Kiki Bertens has exploded into the tennis mainstream this season with a vengeance. She always has had potential but has failed to string together consistent results. Her season was going in a similar direction until her brilliant victory on the clay of the Charleston Open. She then lost in an epic three-setter against similarly rejuvenated Petra Kvitova at the Madrid Open. She had generally underwhelmed at the majors until a decent quarter-final run at Wimbledon, further underlining her all-court potential. She then picked up her biggest win to date in Cincinnati, beating Halep, Wozniacki, Kvitova and Svitolina on the way. She backed that up with yet another win on the hard-courts in Korea. She has been somewhat subdued in recent weeks, disappointingly bowing out in the early stages in Linz.

24-year-old Aliaksandra Sasnovich was a quarter-finalist here last year and started 2018 with a definite bang. She reached the Brisbane International final before a decent enough Round of 32 run in Melbourne. She prodded away in the early part of the season, reaching the last 32 in Indian Wells. A brilliant Round of 16 run at Wimbledon highlighted her true potential. She beat two-time champion Petra Kvitova in the opening round before a semi-final run in the Moscow Open- which should bode well for this week. She has disappointed in the latter part of the season, with a round of 16 showing in Connecticut perhaps her best recent showing. She dispatched of Buzarnescu in routine fashion in her opening match and she will feel quietly confident going into this match.

This will only be their second ever meeting, with Bertens easily dispatching of Sasnovich at the French Open. Clearly, Bertens will be the favourite and I think 13/10 to win in straight sets looks fairly safe. 

Anastasija Sevatsova 3/10 | Yulia Putintseva 9/4
Anastasija Sevatsova is coming into this event in great form and has had a brilliant career resurgence considering her decision to retire in 2013. She reached the semi-finals in Brisbane in what proved to a portentous sign of her later successes. She reached the final 16 in Indian Wells before an excellent semi-final run in Charleston. She had brilliant success in the low key events that she should dominate. She reached the final in Mallorca before winning the title in Bucharest as the number one seed. She then had an excellent quarter-final run on the Canadian hardcourts, which served as a logical precursor to her amazing run at Flushing Meadows. It’s easy- giving the Serena Williams debacle- that there were other people involved in New York- including champion Naomi Osaka. Her recent run to the China Open final just underlined her emergence as a real force on the tour: she beat Naomi Osaka in straight sets in that semi-final.

23-year-old Russian born Kazakh Yulia Putinseva really enjoyed her breakthrough last season, reaching two finals on the hardcourts of St Petersburg and Guangzhou. It’s been a fairly strange season for Putinseva, who has largely dealt in first or second round exits. But she does possess that nearly miraculous quarter-final run at Roland Garros, which really took everyone by surprise. Add to that the fact that she once again reached the final in Guangzhou, and you have a truly mercurial talent to consider. She reached the quarter-finals in Washington, which should lead further credence to her hardcourt potential. She thrashed Irina Begu in the opening round and will be hoping to cash in on some recent momentum.

These two actually share one win apiece, with Sevatsova claiming their last meeting in last year’s Wimbledon. But ultimately you have to favor Sevatsova to win comfortably giving her current form. Sevatsova to win in straight sets at 8/10 seems the logical approach. 

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Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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