The first round of 2019 WTA Sydney International will feature a blockbuster match between the Czech No. 1 Petra Kvitova and the in-form, rising Belarusian star Aryna Sabalenka.
Watch & bet on Petra Kvitova v Aryna Sabalenka live in the WTA Sydney International with bet365 here* on Tuesday, January 8.
*Geo-restrictions apply & pre-funded account needed
Kvitova’s Stunning Form in 2018
Kvitova started her 2018 season on a dull note by losing in the early rounds in Sydney and the Australian Open. Thereafter, she moved on to win no less than five singles titles in St. Petersburg, Doha, Prague, Madrid and lastly, Birmingham.
She also was a semifinalist in the Cincinnati Open where she lost to Kiki Bertens. On the back of her consistent performance on the tour, she broke into the top 5 and qualified for the WTA Finals Singapore. However, she failed to move past the robin round and consequently, concluded her season as the World No. 7.
As for the ongoing season, she started the tour in Brisbane where she reached as far as the second round. She met the underdog Anett Kontaveit to whom she lost in straight sets.
Sabalenka’s Picture-Perfect Start to the 2019 Season
Sabalenka is coming into this fixture on the back of extraordinary performance in Shenzhen last week. There, the 20-year-old lifted her third singles title of her career after defeating Alison Riske in the final in three sets.
The World No. 13 gained a lot of attention in the previous season when she won the WTA Premier 5 event in Wuhan after defeating the likes of Dominika Cibulkova and Elina Svitolina. Earlier that season, she had also won the event in New Haven and was also a runner-up at WTA Lugano and Eastbourne.
Over the course of her season, she registered impressive victories over many top players that put her in the spotlight. More impressively, she proved in Shenzhen last week that she is a force to be reckoned with.
Her true test of this season will begin in Sydney, where there are many top players participating. Her fixture against Kvitova should be an entertaining one, to say the least.
Kvitova v Sabalenka Head to Head
Kvitova and Sabalenka have met only twice on the tour so far. Both of those encounters came in 2018 and the tally is currently even at 1-1.
They first met in the second round of Miami Open where Kvitova won in three sets. After that, they crossed paths at the Flushing Meadows where it was the Belarusian who made things even. She defeated Kvitova in the third round with 7-5, 6-1.
Kvitova v Sabalenka – Who Will Win?
Sabalenka has had a solid start to the season and she is coming to Sydney with a great deal of momentum. Kvitova, on the other hand, had an uneventful start but she is fairly more experienced than her adversary. The bookmakers will favor Kvitova for this fixture although, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this match go to three sets.