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Bertens vs Haas WTA Linz live streaming, preview and tips - Bertens faces wildcard Haas in Linz opener as she chases WTA Finals spot

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 10 Oct 2018
  • Kiki Bertens vs Barbara Haas is live from Linz around 4.00pm local time on Wednesday (3.00pm BST)
  • First career meeting between the pair
Kiki Bertens (Photo by Di Yin/Getty Images)

Aiming to finish the week inside the top eight in the Porsche Race to Singapore, new World No. 10 Kiki Bertens launches her Upper Austria Ladies Linz title quest on Wednesday against local wildcard Barbara Haas.

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Looking to cap a career-best season by making a debut appearance at the season-ending WTA Finals Singapore, second seed Kiki Bertens gets her Upper Austria Ladies Linz campaign underway on Wednesday against Austrian wildcard Barbara Haas.

With Sloane Stephens and Elina Svitolina in commanding positions to lock up the sixth and seventh spots to Singapore, Bertens is in a three-way battle with Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka for the eighth and final ticket to the WTA Finals. With Sabalenka needing titles in Tianjin and Moscow to have a chance of qualifying, it will realistically come down to Pliskova and Bertens, with the pair within 10 points of each other in the Porsche Race to Singapore for the last couple of weeks now.

Bertens knows a fourth title of the season in Linz this week will propel her into eighth spot and ahead of Pliskova - even if the Czech prevails with the silverware herself in Hong Kong this week. However, the Dutchwoman has numerous obstacles in her way throughout the course of the week, starting with determined wildcard Haas and potentially Tashkent champion Margarita Gasparyan, the explosive Camila Giorgi, defending champion Barbora Strycova and World No. 9 Julia Goerges.

It’s a tough road, but with Bertens transforming from predominantly a clay-court specialist to an all-court superstar over the last couple of months, it’s certainly well within her capabilities. A former Grand Slam semi-finalist at the French Open, a winner of five WTA clay-court titles and a runner-up at the Premier Mandatory Mutua Madrid Open, Bertens began to find her feet on other surfaces when she defeated Venus Williams and Karolina Pliskova to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals, while she also made the last eight on hardcourt at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, beating Pliskova again, along with Petra Kvitova.

However, those two tournaments were ultimately a curtain-raiser to what Bertens was about to produce in Cincinnati as the 26-year-old toppled Caroline Wozniacki, Elina Svitolina, Kvitova again and World No. 1 Simona Halep to win the silverware. Previously 0-11 against top 10 players off clay, suddenly Bertens was (and still is) an extraordinary 8-0 in her last eight matches against the game’s elite, although her U.S. Open campaign came to a halt in the third round against the rising Marketa Vondrousova in a third set tiebreak.

But that defeat didn’t demoralise Bertens in the slightest, with the Dutchwoman bouncing back immediately to win her third title of 2018 at the Korea Open in Seoul, conquering Ajla Tomljanovic in the final. Bertens ran out of steam a bit in Wuhan and Beijing, losing in the second round and third rounds respectively, but she’s still in with a great chance of qualifying for Singapore - can she continue to produce her best tennis in Linz this week?

Barbara Haas (Photo by BARBARA GINDL/AFP/Getty Images)
Barbara Haas has spent the bulk of her career on the ITF circuit as she tries to rise through the ranks of women’s tennis and onto bigger and better things. However, Haas is struggling to break out of that 100-200 bracket in the rankings and hasn’t really come close to consistently competing on the WTA Tour throughout 2018, failing to win a match at tour-level and arriving as a wildcard in Linz as the World No. 192, while she also hasn’t been able to qualify for any of the four Grand Slams this season.


Now 22 years of age, Haas - who made her WTA debut as a teenager in 2012 - has picked up 12 titles on the ITF circuit, including last month when she took home the $25k silverware in Sofia. In fact, Haas has reached at least the semi-finals of her last four ITF tournaments, but the question is can she translate that form over to the main tour? So far she hasn’t been able to make the most of her wildcards in Linz, losing in the opening rounds in 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017 - although she has been unlucky with those draws, losing to Barbora Strycova, Julia Goerges and Carina Witthoeft.

Without a WTA win all season and 0-4 in Linz, it’s hard to see Haas pulling off the win against an in-form Bertens on Wednesday. The Dutchwoman has it all to play for, and while she might be feeling the pressure of the situation and struggle a bit in transitioning indoors back to Europe, Bertens has improved significantly over the last few months and it would be a big surprise if she fails to win this one.


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Bertens vs Haas WTA Linz live streaming, preview and tips - Bertens faces wildcard Haas in Linz opener as she chases WTA Finals spot

Aiming to finish the week inside the top eight in the Porsche Race to Singapore, new World No. 10 Kiki Bertens launches her Upper Austria Ladies Linz title quest on Wednesday against local wildcard Barbara Haas.

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