Seventh seed Angelique Kerber will meet French qualifier Caroline Garcia in the opening round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday evening. This marks the first time these two competitors will cross paths on the WTA tour, which adds to the intrigue in this match-up.
World No. 8 Angelique Kerber is not one of the competitors faced with a difficult draw on paper. Quite the contrary, considering her week rest from the Fed Cup tie, she will fully prepared to face the upcoming draw. In March, Kerber lost her opening match in Dubai to Torro-Flor, but rebounded nicely to reach the semi-finals in Miami, where she lost to the eventual champion Serena Williams. Since then, she helped the German team defeat Australian in the Fed Cup week 2, and then dropped her opener to Carla Suarez Navarro in Stuttgart.
This marks the third time Kerber takes part in the Madrid Open, as she reached the quarter-finals last year before losing to Ivanovic, and lost in the third round the previous year to Li Na. Considering she is placed in a quarter with the likes of Radwanksa, Bouchard and Wozniacki, it will be interesting to see how deep into the draw she can go this season.
World No. 51 Caroline Garcia began her clay court season with a loss to Shuai Peng in the opening round in Charleston, but rebounded with a title win in Bogota, Colombia before picking up consecutive victories in the Fed Cup tie agains the USA. With the confidence of her seven-match winning streak, Garcia will be looking to upset Kerber early in the draw.
This is the first time these two athletes will meet on the WTA tour, and it a match-up that could easily see an upset. Kerber has lost in the opening round of three tournaments so far this season, and is facing an opponent known for silencing her naysayers.
Prediction: Angelique Kerber in Three Sets