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Kerber vs Muchova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Top seed Kerber faces Miami rematch with Muchova in Monterrey

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 4 Apr 2019
  • Top seed Angelique Kerber faces Karolina Muchova in the second round of the Abierto GNP Seguros
  • Kerber vs Muchova is live from Monterrey on Thursday at 7pm local/2am BST
Angelique Kerber (PA Sport)

Angelique Kerber continues her Abierto GNP Seguros campaign as she takes on Karolina Muchova, who took a set from her in Miami, in Monterrey.

Top seed Angelique Kerber had to come back from a set down when she faced Karolina Muchova at the Miami Open – can she keep things simpler when she takes on the Czech in the second round of WTA Monterrey?

Kerber shows her frustration playing against Karolina Muchova (PA Sport)
Kerber has made the final of the Abierto GNP Seguros on two of her three previous appearances, finishing runner-up to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in 2013 and 2017, and hasn’t lost before the final in Monterrey since 2011 when she lost her opening match to Polona Hercog.

The German avoided a repeat of that 2011 first-round loss when she took on qualifier Karolina Kucova, scoring a straight-sets victory over the Slovakian qualifier, although it wasn’t entirely straightforward: Kerber led 3-0 in the first set and also served for it at 6-5 before eventually having to wrap up a 61-minute opener in the tie-break. The second set was simpler, taking almost half the time before Kerber completed a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory.

‘I was expecting a tough match, because I've played her many times already. She's a tough opponent,’ Kerber said afterwards.

‘I was trying to play a good match, play aggressive. I'm so happy to be back here in Monterrey. I'm feeling like home here. It's great to have a good first round.

‘I was twice here in the final, really close, and I will try and play every single match the best that I can play.’

Kerber joins defending champion Garbine Muguruza in the second round as the world no. 5 pursues her first title of 2019 at the International-level hard-court event. It’s been a bit of an underwhelming season so far for Kerber, who failed to defend either her Sydney title or her run to the Australian Open semifinals in January. She made the semifinals in Doha but lost in three sets to Elise Mertens, and while she made the final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells for the first time, I didn’t think she actually played very good tennis on her way there.

It’s hard to argue with the calibre of opponents Kerber beat at Indian Wells – Aryna Sabalenka, Venus Williams, Dubai champion Belinda Bencic – but Sabalenka crumbled from a 4-1 lead in the deciding set, Williams was physically hampered and Bencic was just bad. Ultimately, it was Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu who got the better of Kerber in the Indian Wells final, and did so again in an acrimonious match in Miami which ended with Kerber calling Andreescu a ‘drama queen’.

Altogether it doesn’t feel like a resoundingly successful first quarter of the season for the Wimbledon champion, who split with Wim Fissette at the end of last year and recruited former ATP Tour pro Rainer Schuettler as her new coach, and a title in Monterrey – which would be her first since Wimbledon – would be a nice fillip for the German heading into the clay-court season.

That’s a long way off yet, though, with Kerber facing Karolina Muchova on Thursday in a bid to book her place in Friday’s quarterfinals.

This will be the second meeting between Kerber and Muchova in the space of three weeks, after Muchova, having qualified for the Miami Open and beaten Nao Hibino in the first round, took the first set from the eighth seed before losing in three sets.

Karolina Muchova
The 22-year-old Muchova has been racking up good results over the past year to be on the brink of breaking into the top 100. After making three ITF Tour finals throughout 2018, she then successfully qualified for the US Open and beat Dayana Yastremska and 12th seed Garbine Muguruza to make the third round before losing to Ashleigh Barty. Muchova started 2019 by reaching the final round of qualifying for the Brisbane International, and successfully qualified for the Australian Open, losing to seventh seed Karolina Pliskova in the first round. She went on to qualify for Doha, then beat Samantha Stosur and Su-Wei Hsieh to make the quarterfinals, taking a couple of weeks off after losing to Elina Svitolina before the aforementioned Miami Open run.

Now up to world no. 109, Muchova beat qualifier Xu Shilin of China in three sets in the first round of Monterrey to make the second round and set up the clash with Kerber.

Muchova is an appealing player to watch, and it was notable in their Miami Open clash how often she had Kerber on the back foot, attacking down the lines and frequently approaching the net behind that shot. That said, Kerber knows what she’s up against this time and will (presumably) be ready to take a more assertive approach from the get-go, ready with the passing shots with which she punished Muchova in the decider of their Miami clash. I’m still not particularly convinced by Kerber’s form at the moment, and she’s probably not approaching this tournament with the same intensity she might bring to a bigger one, but this is a match she should be able to win.

Kerber vs Muchova Abierto GNP Seguros tennis is live from Monterrey on Wednesday at 7pm local/2am BST

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Kerber vs Muchova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Top seed Kerber faces Miami rematch with Muchova in Monterrey

Angelique Kerber vs Karolina Muchova live streaming, preview and predictions for the WTA Monterrey second-round match on Thursday 4 April: Muchova took a set from Kerber in Miami and is rising up the ranks – can the top seed squash down the Czech?

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