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Kerber vs Petkovic WTA Stuttgart live streaming, preview and tips - Two-time Stuttgart champion Kerber faces compatriot for quarter-final spot

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 25 Apr 2019
  • Angelique Kerber vs Andrea Petkovic is live from Stuttgart at 6.30pm local time on Thursday (5.30pm BST)
  • Their tour-level head-to-head is locked at 3-3
Angelique Kerber (PA Images)

Angelique Kerber begins her quest for a third Porsche Tennis Grand Prix title on Thursday when she takes on compatriot Andrea Petkovic in the second round in Stuttgart.

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Fifth seed and two-time Porsche Tennis Grand Prix champion Angelique Kerber takes on countrywoman Andrea Petkovic for a spot in the quarter-finals in Stuttgart on Thursday.

Seeded fifth but at the bottom of the draw due to the withdrawal of No. 2 seed Simona Halep just before the tournament, Kerber will be looking for a third title in Stuttgart as she launches her clay season in her home country. The former World No. 1 won the title in back-to-back years in 2015 and 2016, beating the likes of Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova in those tournaments, but she hasn’t bee beyond the second round since, losing to Kristina Mladenovic and Anett Kontaveit over the last two seasons.

However, this clay season is more significant than most for Kerber - she’s going for the Career Grand Slam at the French Open and will be trying to join legends, including Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova as the only women in the Open Era to achieve the feat.

"Of course, it is the greatest challenge," Kerber told reporters in Stuttgart. "It’s a tough challenge, but I will not put too much pressure on my side because I know how it is with the pressure. I will right now focus on the tournaments ahead, and then when I’m in Paris I will think about the Paris situation."

Kerber hasn’t exactly thrived on European clay throughout her career, but she did pick up some form on the surface last year - after her early exit in Stuttgart and subsequent withdrawal from Madrid due to injury, reaching consecutive quarter-finals in Rome and Roland Garros, scoring two big wins over Kiki Bertens and Caroline Garcia before going down to eventual champion Simona Halep in three sets. Those performances will give Kerber confidence that she can match it with the very best on clay, but her preparations for this clay campaign haven’t exactly gone to plan after suffering from a virus following her semi-final defeat in Monterrey at the start of the month. It caused her to withdraw from Germany’s Fed Cup playoff with Latvia on the weekend, but Kerber is back and ready to launch her clay season with a win.


Andrea Petkovic was part of that German team who conquered Latvia in Riga over the weekend, with the veteran claiming a big win over former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the process, while she’s continued her good form in Stuttgart, winning her opening round of Sara Sorribes Tormo in straight sets. Petkovic is competing in Stuttgart for the 11th time, but she hasn’t exactly thrived at the event, making the quarter-finals just once, back in 2011 when she beat Jelena Jankovic and lost to Caroline Wozniacki, while her last appearance in the main draw came in 2016, when she was ousted by Agnieszka Radwanska.

A former World No. 9, 2014 French Open semi-finalist and a three-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist at the Australian Open and U.S. Open in 2011 (along with Roland Garros as well), Petkovic’s career has been dogged by injury. A torn ACL delayed her rise onto the WTA Tour in 2008 when she went down at the Australian Open, while after her career-best season in 2011, where she also finished runner-up at the Premier Mandatory China Open in Beijing and made the semi-finals of Miami and Cincinnati, she suffered another knee injury at the start of 2012 and was forced to undergo surgery, missing most of the season as a result.

Petkovic beat seven top 10 players in 2011, but she’s only been able to beat three since, with the German really struggling to consistently produce her best tennis since returning to the tour full-time again in 2013, while she even contemplated retirement at one stage. The 31-year-old dropped out of the top 100 last year but has regrouped to a current mark of No. 71, reaching the third round of the French Open last year, beating 29th seed Kristina Mladenovic, while she also advanced to three more semi-finals to round off 2018 in Washington D.C., Guangzhou and Linz. Petkovic has fallen off again to start 2019 though, winning just three tour-level matches prior to this week.

There was a time when Petkovic won three straight matches against Kerber from 2010-11, but Kerber has since evened their tour-level head-to-head at 3-3, winning their last two encounters after also winning their first match at the 2009 U.S. Open. Petkovic has proven credentials on clay, but Stuttgart clay is a little bit different, as illustrated with Kerber winning the title twice. Coupled with being the overall better and more consistent player, Kerber should be claiming the win on Thursday and advancing to the quarter-finals.


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Kerber vs Petkovic WTA Stuttgart live streaming, preview and tips - Two-time Stuttgart champion Kerber faces compatriot for quarter-final spot

Angelique Kerber begins her quest for a third Porsche Tennis Grand Prix title on Thursday when she takes on compatriot Andrea Petkovic in the second round in Stuttgart.

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