Round Robin: 10:00 – Muguruza v Safarova
Safarova won their only previous meeting. That was at this season’s French Open and she won in straight sets.
Safarova went on to reach the final at the French open where she lost to Serena. That was her first appearance in a Grand Slam Final. Muguruza also reached her first Grand Slam final in 2015. She lost in the final at Wimbledon, also to Serena.
Muguruza’s form dipped after Wimbledon but she has ended the season strongly with a final in Wuhan and then the title in Beijing.
Safarova backed up her French Open performance with a 4th round finish at Wimbledon. She reached the quarter finals in Cincinnati and another final in New Haven where she lost to Kvitova in 3 sets. Since then, though, she has lost all 3 of her matches and has been suffering with illness. She lost weakly to Tsurenko in the US Open and to Mitu in Linz having taken several weeks off.
Muguruza has the momentum coming into the Finals. In the past she has not handled the big occasions well but we have seen a change in her this season.
I have to go with Muguruza for the win but I don’t see any value at the start. Back her if she gets broken first.
Round Robin: 11:30 – Kvitova v Kerber
Kvitova leads their previous matches 4-2. She won their last 3 but the last 5 meetings went to a deciding set.
Kerber worked hard to get to the finals. She may not have the energy to go three sets and win but she can rest after this week so hopefully she goes for it. The slow courts perhaps favour her slightly as Kvitova will not be able to hit through her so easily. Having to hit more shots to win the points will bring errors and Kvitova is a little more prone to those
Kvitova of course has been suffering with Mono which saps her energy. I think she has managed it well so far I expect 3 sets again in this one. Stats favour Kerber. Kvit has been poor since the US Open. She should be rested but will also be a little rusty.
Let’s hope we have another great match from these 2 talented players. I give the edge to Kerber.