Petra Kvitova will have to find a way to stop the impressive run of powerful Shelby Rogers if the Czech…
Petra Kvitova will have to find a way to stop the impressive run of powerful Shelby Rogers if the Czech is to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open.
Petra Kvitova vs Shelby Rogers | US Open women's singles R16 | 6/9/2020Rogers to win 13/5 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Kvitova vs Rogers is live from New York on Sunday 6 September, 3pm local/8pm BST
The US Open has always been Petra Kvitova’s least successful major – it’s the only one at which she has yet to reach the semifinals – but she has reached the quarterfinals twice in the past five years and is looking to reach the last eight for the third time on Sunday.
Kvitova stopped the red-hot Jessica Pegula in the third round in straight sets, but she will have to find a way to halt the progress of another in-form American as she takes on Shelby Rogers.
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
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Kvitova vs Rogers: Head-to-head
The head-to-head between Petra Kvitova and Shelby Rogers makes slightly bizarre reading: They have only played once, at the French Open in 2016, when Rogers won by the bipolar scoreline of 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-0.
Kvitova vs Rogers: Preview
Given that Petra Kvitova lost her only match played since February to Marie Bouzkova at the Western & Southern Open, expectations were not particularly high for the Czech, who has never really had the success on American hard courts that she has enjoyed on grass, clay or even Australian hard courts, where Kvitova made her first Grand Slam final for five years in 2019.
Kvitova did make the quarterfinals in New York twice, in 2015 and 2017, and she looks to have played herself into some form with the help of the draw: She beat Irina-Camelia Begu, more challenging on clay, 6-3, 6-2, and weathered a scrappy clash with Kateryna Kozlova, saving a set point to 7-6(3), 6-2. The real test, however, came in the third round against Pegula, who made the ‘Cincinnati’ quarterfinals with a series of impressive wins and has been recording better and better results over the past 18 months. A big serving performance from Kvitova was once again crucial as she saved five of the seven break points she faced; she failed to serve out the first set, but broke for it immediately afterwards, and recovered the break she gave up at the beginning of the second set shortly afterwards before getting her crucial break to lead 5-3, making no mistakes when it came to serving out the match.
A strong serving performance will be absolutely crucial for Kvitova against Rogers. The American was ranked world no. 108 when she made her surprise run to the quarterfinals of the French Open in 2016, beating Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova on the way, but thanks to injury she missed the best part of 16 months on tour in 2018-19, returning unranked in April 2019.
Rogers is already back in the top 100, thanks to the semifinal run she made at the Top Seed Open in Lexington a few weeks ago where she beat Serena Williams to make the final four. Beaten in qualifying for ‘Cincinnati’, Rogers has been looking great at the US Open, yet to drop a set in wins over Irina Khromachaeva, 11th seed Elena Rybakina and Madison Brengle.
Those are some tricky and varied opponents, and Rogers has been dealing with them in style, only twice losing more than two games in a set.
Rogers, who once trounced Simona Halep 3-6, 1-6 in the first round of the Australian Open, is a very dangerous player, a big server with big groundstrokes who can render any opponent’s game irrelevant on her day. While the scoreline of their previous meeting was extremely odd – Kvitova was feeling ‘weird’, she said herself, and was clearly very low-energy on the day – it does show that Rogers is quite capable of knocking Kvitova back on her heels, and Kvitova does not win from that position.
As with most contests between first-strike power players like this, it’s going to come down to serve and return: Who can get more cheap points on their first serve, who can rock the other player back on their heels with a big return. I don’t think Kvitova’s really playing her best tennis yet – Rogers just looks that much sharper with a lot more recent matches, and I think the American will pull off the upset.