An intriguing match-up between world No. 9 Angelique Kerber and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is scheduled to take place Friday afternoon in the quarter-final stage of the Paris Open. The two competitors have met four times on the WTA tour, with the head-to-head series tied at 2-2 dating back to their first meeting in 2013.
After receiving a first round bye, Germany’s Angelique Kerber posted a 6-2, 7-5 triumph over Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic to arrive at the quarter-finals in Paris. The world No. 9 has some slight issues closing out the match in the second set but eventually prevailed to set up the fascinating encounter with Pavlyuchenkova. A champion in Paris two years back, Kerber will be looking to replicate her efforts from 2012 and will need to get past the world No. 26 to edge closer to that goal.
Pavlyuchenkova has had two impressive outings since arriving in Paris this week. While she struggled at times with her serve against opening round opponent Schiavone , making six double-faults, she also hit four aces and broke the Italian five times to seal the match. She had less trouble in her second round match against Carla Suarez Navarro but still required three sets to secure the victory. Now the Russian will get an opportunity to lead the head-to-head series against Kerber by posting a crucial upset against the Top 10 competitor.
This marks the fifth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour. With the series tied at 2-2, both competitors have advantages heading into this contest. Pavlyuchenkova leads the series on hard courts 2-1, with one of Kerber’s victories coming on clay. While the Russian has had an impressive week so far in Paris, her errors and service issues should be enough to allow Kerber to take advantage and secure the victory in three sets.
Prediction: Angelique Kerber in Three Sets