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Kvitova vs Sasnovich WTA Sydney Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Kvitova continues charge for second Sydney title

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 10 Jan 2019
  • Petra Kvitova vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich is live from Sydney on Friday, 11 January from 7:00pm local time/ 8:00am GMT
  • Sasnovich defeated Kvitova in their only previous meeting at Wimbledon 2018
Petra Kvitova. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Following her big win over last year's champion, Angelique Kerber on Thursday, Petra Kvitova attempts to reach the Sydney final for the second time in her career when she takes on Belarusian qualifier, Aliaksandra Sasnovich on Friday.

With the Australian Open starting in a few days, Kvitova has played herself into some very good form ahead of her Melbourne challenge, and her victory over one of the title favourites, Kerber on Thursday was a strong message to the rest of the tour that she may be about to wake up from her Grand Slam slumber. Since winning her second Wimbledon title in 2014, Kvitova has not made a Grand Slam semi-final, and has reached just two quarter finals in her last 16 majors. Her best performances last season were third-round runs at Roland Garros and the US Open, while she lost in the first round in the other two majors.

Despite her Grand Slam struggles, Kvitova enjoyed a fine season on the WTA Tour, winning titles in St. Petersburg, Doha, Prague, Madrid and Eastbourne as she reestablished herself inside the world's top ten. The challenge this year is for the left-hander to reproduce that form on the biggest stages in the sport.

Kvitova began 2019 with an unconvincing showing in Brisbane, where she scraped past Danielle Collins in three sets in her opening match before losing to Anett Kontaveit in the next round. She has been a lot more assured in a brutal Sydney draw, outhitting Shenzhen champion, Aryna Sabalenka 6-1 7-5 in the opening round, before taking down the tricky Taiwanese, Su-Wei Hsieh 7-6 6-2 in the second round. Defending champion Kerber had shown some excellent early-season form and was arguably the favourite heading into Thursday's quarter final, but Kvitova battled through several rain delays to blast her way to an impressive 6-4 6-1 victory. The Czech churned out impressive numbers on serve, winning 70% of points on her first serve and 60% on her second, while she saved four of the five break points she faced. Kerber typically battled hard, saving 9 of 13 break points, but Kvitova's power was irrepressible in the end, as the Czech won the final five games to emerge with the victory after an hour and 26 minutes.

She is back on court on Friday to seek a spot in the final, but qualifier, Aliaksandra Sasnovich also has her own ideas and ambitions, and she attempts to repeat her Wimbledon upset over Kvitova.


Aliaksandra Sasnovich. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Sasnovich is looking to reach her third tour-level final, having contested title matches at the Korea Open in 2015, and in Brisbane last year. She couldn't quite build on that fine start to 2018, as she made only one more semi-final all season (at the Moscow River Cup), and another quarter final at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. However, she did fairly OK at the majors, making the fourth round at Wimbledon, where she beat Kvitova in the first round, and the third round at the Australian and the US Open. The 24-year-old Belarusian, who was ranked 88th at the start of the year, ended the season at 30th in the world.

She has had a decent beginning to 2019, beating Anastasia Potapova and Elina Svitolina in Brisbane before falling to Donna Vekic in the quarter finals; and she has gone one step further in Sydney, taking out Daria Kasatkina, Priscilla Hon and Timea Bacsinszky to reach the semifinals. She was largely in control in Thursday’s quarter final against Bacsinszky, leading 5-1 in both sets, but she had a few hiccups towards the end of both sets before eventually pulling off the 6-3 6-3 victory.

Sasnovich's fine start to 2019 has already featured top-ten wins over WTA Finals champion, Elina Svitolina and rising Russian, Daria Kasatkina; can she make it a hat-trick of top 10 wins by eliminating Kvitova on Friday?

“I’ve got a tough opponent tomorrow,” Kvitova said ahead of the semi-final. “I lost to her at Wimbledon so I’m not thinking further than that. I’m going step by step.”

Sasnovich’s victory over Kvitova at Wimbledon remains their only previous meeting, and while the Belarusian is playing some very good tennis at the moment, Kvitova appears to be hitting her strides as well, and when the Czech gets into full flow, she is almost unstoppable.

Petra Kvitova vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich is live from Sydney on Friday, 11 January from 7:00pm local time/ 8:00am GMT

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Kvitova vs Sasnovich WTA Sydney Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Kvitova continues charge for second Sydney title

Petra Kvitova takes on Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the semi-finals of the Sydney International on Friday. Can Kvitova avenge her Wimbledon defeat against the Belarusian? Read our match preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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