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Kerber vs Kvitova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – All-star WTA Sydney quarterfinal pits Wimbledon champions against each other

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 9 Jan 2019
  • Angelique Kerber faces Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals of the Apia International Sydney
  • Kerber vs Kvitova is live from Sydney on Thursday at 7pm local/6am GMT
Angelique Kerber (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Sydney champions clash on Thursday night as Angelique Kerber takes on Petra Kvitova for a place in the semifinals.


Defending Apia International Sydney champion Angelique Kerber must defeat 2015 winner Petra Kvitova in order to make it back to the final four.

Runner-up to Tsvetana Pironkova in 2014, Kerber captured the Sydney title in 2018 when she defeated Ashleigh Barty in the final after going 4-0 in singles at the Hopman Cup, and went on to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open, defeated only by a mammoth effort from Simona Halep. 

It’s early days yet for Kerber, but so far 2019 looks suspiciously similar: She went 4-0 in singles at the Hopman Cup, reaching the final with Alexander Zverev only to lose to the same opponents as last year, Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic; and she got off to a winning start at the Apia International Sydney, beating Camila Giorgi in a rematch of last year’s semifinals, 7-6(3), 6-2. 

Of course, last year Kerber was ranked a lowly world no. 22 and coming off a torrid 2017 season which saw her fail to defend any of the titles, including the two majors, she won the previous season. This year, she comes in as the world no. 2 and reigning Wimbledon champion, and one of the hot favourites to capture a second Australian Open title when the first Grand Slam of the year begins on Monday. Certainly no player will be keen to see Kerber’s name anywhere near theirs when the Australian Open draw is released on Thursday.

With all that said, it wasn’t a terribly convincing win for Kerber over Giorgi. The Italian is a formidable opponent who often steals the show with her winners – and errors – and there were plenty of both on display in this Sydney clash. But Kerber at her best does not simply out-steady and outrun players but actively beats them, looking to dictate play and take chances, and she struggled to do that in the first set against Giorgi – a set that she was probably second-best in, had Giorgi not started off the tie-break with a cluster of big unforced errors, digging herself a hole she didn’t have time to climb out of. 

Kerber kept things more straightforward in the second set, but the defending champion will have to raise her level considerably if she is to reach the Sydney semifinals once more. 


Petra Kvitova, who won the Apia International Sydney in 2015 when she beat Karolina Pliskova in the final, came out on the right end of a scoreline similar to that in Kerber-Giorgi as she faced Su-Wei Hsieh late on Wednesday night, beating the much-improved player from Chinese Taipei 7-6(2), 6-2. Kvitova raced to a 4-1 lead and even had points for 5-1 as she leveraged her superior power, but Hsieh clawed her way back level and saved two set points to push the set to a tie-break.

Petra Kvitova (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
The tie-break though was all Kvitova and she broke early in the second set, ending the match in fine style with 38 winners to 32 unforced errors.

Like Kerber, Kvitova is coming off the back of an excellent 2018 season which saw her climb back into the top 10, although the Czech’s comeback was from the aftermath of a violent knife attack in her home. Winner of five titles between February and June, Kvitova compiled a 47-17 win-loss record in 2018, but one of the few parts of her season that could have been improved was her start to the year, which saw her struggling with injuries and coming into the Australian Open under-prepared – which showed in a first-round defeat to Andrea Petkovic, 8-10 in the third set. 

Kvitova already has more wins in this Australian summer than she managed last year: She beat Danielle Collins in Brisbane before losing to Anett Kontaveit, and opened her Sydney campaign in excellent style by beating Shenzhen Open champion (and world no. 11 Aryna Sabalenka). 

Can Kvitova keep her good week going with a win over Kerber? It’s an exciting match-up: Two left-handers, both Grand Slam champions and fixtures at the top of the game, but whose styles are almost diametrically opposed, Kvitova the first-strike power player, Kerber the dogged counterpuncher. Kerber enjoys a slight 6-5 advantage in the head-to-head (3-3 on hard courts), but the only matches they have played since 2016 came within a few days of each other in 2018: Kvitova beat Kerber in straight sets in Fed Cup, then Kerber got her revenge – also in straight sets – just a couple of days later on the same court as it played host to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. Kvitova was the better player in the second round, but she’ll have to raise her level again and play a lot of patient but very aggressive rallies to get the win on Thursday. 

Kerber vs Kvitova tennis is live from Sydney on Thursday at 7pm local/6am GMT

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Kerber vs Kvitova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – All-star WTA Sydney quarterfinal pits Wimbledon champions against each other

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