A tantalizing battle between reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and former world No. 1 Venus Williams is scheduled to grace the third round of the China Open in Beijing. The contest will serve as a rematch of their recent clash at SW19, where Kvitova edged the American 7-5 in the third.
While fellow Wuhan finalist Eugenie Bouchard bowed out of Beijing in the opening round, her Sunday opponent Petra Kvitova has maintained her winning ways. Kvitova began her run in Beijing with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over local favourite Peng Shuai. She moves to 6-0 against the newly crowned Chinese No. 1.
“I feel really good on the court,” she said. “I know I can play good tennis because of last week in Wuhan. My confidence is a little bit higher than it was after the US Open. I worked hard before I came to Asia. I knew I had to really fight for Singapore – everybody’s playing so well and fighting.
“I feel a little bit relaxed that I made it already. And I’m enjoying it.”
Kvitova’s win sets up an anticipated rematch against Venus Williams, who has already played two matches at the China Open. After dispatching Heather Watson with ease, Williams picked up a similarly quick win over Caroline Garcia in the second round of the tournament. Williams defeated the Frenchwoman 6-4, 6-2 in a match that served as revenge for her loss to Garcia last week in Wuhan. She will now look for another slice of the revenge pie against Kvitova.
“Every match I’ve played with Venus has been a great fight until the end,” Kvitova said. “I played her in Doha, 7-6 in the third. Wimbledon, 7-5 in the third. It’s always great. I’m looking forward to it.
“And she’s playing well. It’s the third round – it’s very early to meet each other again, the same as Wimbledon. It’s a tough tournament. You really can’t see any easy matches in the third round.”
This marks the sixth time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Kvitova leading the series 4-1. Williams’ only win took place in the 2012 Miami Open and has since lost three consecutive meetings to Kvitova – all in close competitive battles.
Prediction: Venus Williams in Three Sets.