Kiki Bertens will need to win again if she hopes to qualify for the WTA finals later this month. The Dutch powerhouse will face France’s Kristina Mladenovic in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Kremlin Cup on Friday, October 18. The timings have not been confirmed yet. You can find Kiki Bertens v Kristina Mladenovic live streaming options along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Kiki Bertens v Kristina Mladenovic Head to Head
Bertens leads the series 1-0 having beaten Mladenovic in a Fed Cup rubber in 2016. However, they are yet to meet on the WTA tour.
Bertens Still In Shenzhen Race
Kiki Bertens needs to reach the finals of the Kremlin Cup to guarantee her qualification at the season-ending WTA Championships for the second successive year.
Bertens’ hopes of qualifying were in real jeopardy after she trailed by a break in both the second and third sets to big-hitting Estonian Kaia Kanepi, before pulling off an impressive feat of escapology to snatch a gutsy win over the former World No.15.
The Dutchwoman rallied from 3-1 down in the second set where she reeled off five straight games to force the decider and then came back from 4-1 down in the third to earn her spot in the last eight.
Bertens has already triumphed in Russia in 2019 after winning the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, and another title in the capital will put a seal on a perfect season. She has already bettered last year’s result at this event with victory over Kanepi and there is the possibility of meeting Bencic in the semifinals to decide the last remaining qualifier for Shenzhen.
Mladenovic Maintained Impressive Autumn Form
Kristina Mladenovic knocked out the World No.24 Anastasija Sevastova to reach her second consecutive quarterfinal (third since the beginning of Asian swing).
But if recent results are anything to go by, the Frenchwoman could be bound to taste another defeat at this stage. Mladenovic was 0-5 in quarterfinal matches in 2019 before Zhengzhou after losing in Monterrey, Istanbul, Rome, Nottingham and Washington. Although she scaled that hurdle in Zhengzhou, she lost her quarterfinal match in Linz last week.
It has been a steady, if unspectacular rise by the 26-year-old who is in the midst of a reincarnation. Mladenovic may have very little to play for between now and the end of the season, but she could restore her shuttered confidence ahead of the 2020 campaign.
Kiki Bertens v Kristina Mladenovic Predictions & Tips
Both these players secured impressive three-set wins. Bertens in particular, looked down and out before battling back with vengeance. I feel like she has that extra incentive to win in order to qualify for WTA Finals and it would only be fitting if she played Bencic in the semifinals. Expect the Dutchwoman to pile more misery on Mladenovic’s quarterfinal record.
Tip: Bertens to win in three sets: 3/1 with 888Sport