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Kvitova vs Hsieh WTA Sydney Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Kvitova battles crafty Hsieh for Sydney quarter final spot

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 8 Jan 2019
  • Petra Kvitova vs Su-Wei Hsieh is live from Sydney on Wednesday, 9 January from 6:00pm local time/ 7:00am GMT
  • Kvitova won both of their previous matches in straight sets
Petra Kvitova. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Petra Kvitova faces the crafty Su-Wei Hsieh on Wednesday as the pair battle for a quarter final ticket at the WTA Sydney International.

World No. 8, Kvitova turned in her most accomplished performance of the season so far in her Sydney opener, taking down Shenzhen champion, Aryna Sabalenka 6-1 7-5 in an hour and 20 minutes.

Perhaps struggling to adapt to the conditions in Sydney after her title run in Shenzhen, rising Belarusian, Sabalenka never got going in the opening set, and was blown off the court by two-time Wimbledon champion, Kvitova, who hit 12 winners and just five unforced errors after just 24 minutes. Sabalenka improved significantly in the second set, and twice exchanged breaks with Kvitova before earning a set point on the Czech's serve at 4-5. Kvitova however fended off that danger before winning three straight games to take the win.

In the end, she hit 28 winners and 27 unforced errors, dropping just five points on her firsy serve, and converting all five break points she created to get through a very tough first round draw.

"She came from Shenzhen and won the tournament, so I knew it would be a tough match," Kvitova said after the match.

"I'm happy with my performance in the first round. She's a big server and a big hitter from the baseline, and I'm really happy I was able to win it."

The left-hander had opened her season in Brisbane, where she squeezed past Daniele Collins 6-7 7-6 6-3 in the opening round before losing 7-5 7-6 to Anett Kontaveit.

After falling out of the top 20 in 2017- she played just half of the season due to that infamous knife attack in her home in December 2016- Kvitova surged back into the top ten last season, claiming titles in St. Petersburg, Doha, Prague, Madrid and Birmingham. She will be looking to further impose herself on the tour this year, particularly at the majors, as she is yet to make a Grand Slam semi-final since her Wimbledon success in 2014. She has been especially poor at the Australian Open in recent years, with her best performance in the last six years being a third-round showing in 2015. A good run in Sydney could set her up for a better showing in Melbourne, and she will attempt to reach the quarter finals when she plays Hsieh on Wednesday.

Hsieh Su-wei. (Photo by DAVID ROWLAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Hsieh has had a fine start to the season, reaching the semi-finals at the ASB Classic in Auckland following straight-set wins over Polona Hercog, Monica Puig and Sara Sorribes Tormo (lost to Bianca Andreescu), and following it up with a 7-6 6-3 victory over Danielle Collins in the first round of the Sydney International. 

The world No. 28 missed two set points as Collins served to stay in the set at 3-5, and failed to serve out the set at 5-4, but she regrouped to take the tie break 7-4. Hsieh led all through the second set, but she stuttered towards the finish line, needing to save a break point while serving for the match before sealing the deal on her second match point.

The Taiwanese is operating at a career-high ranking of 28th, a mark she reached during a fine 2018. She had begun the year just outside the top 100, but she put together a superb series of results, claiming her third career title, and first since 2012, in Hiroshima, and reaching semi-finals in Auckland, Rabat, Seoul and Tianjin. She also made the fourth round at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, beating Garbine Muguruza and Agnieszka Radwanska in Australia, and Simona Halep at the All England Club.

Can she add another Grand Slam champion to her list of scalps when she plays Kvitova in Sydney on Wednesday?

Kvitova has won the two previous meetings in straight sets, both of which took place in 2016, and if she finds her range off the serve and off the ground, Wednesday's reunion could well be headed in the same direction. However, Hsieh is the expert at getting under the skins of more powerful opponents with her unorthodox and delightful variety and touch. The world No. 28 is playing well enough to cause Kvitova problems, but as we have seen so often in the past, if the two-time Wimbledon champion turns up in her best mood, she will take the racket off Hsieh's hands.

Petra Kvitova vs Su-Wei Hsieh is live from Sydney on Wednesday, 9 January from 6:00pm local time/ 7:00am GMT

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Kvitova vs Hsieh WTA Sydney Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Kvitova battles crafty Hsieh for Sydney quarter final spot

Petra Kvitova takes on the crafty Su-Wei Hsieh in the second round of the Sydney International on Wednesday. Who will move into the last eight? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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