Petra Kvitova will follow the Romanian top seed Simona Halep on court on Monday afternoon, as she kicks off her 2015 season at the Shenzhen Open. Kvitova will meet local talent Ying-Ying Duan in the opening round – an opponent she has never crossed paths with on the professional tour. While this could produce unforeseen upsets early in the season, it is unlikely to be the case in this particular contest.
In 2014, Kvitova compiled a 43-16 record on the WTA tour, which included three titles on the WTA Tour. She won the Wimbledon title with a thrashing of Canadian starlet Eugenie Bouchard. The Czech No. 1 also helped her nation win yet another Fed Cup title at the end of the season.
Ahead of the start of the season, Kvitova suggested that she was ready to make an even bigger run this year and had set her sights on claiming the world No. 1 ranking.
“I have some clear goals in my mind. I want to have better results at the Grand Slams and of course one day I want to be Number One in the world. I have been close already, but I really hope that day will come. Those clear goals are motivating me to work harder than ever before.”
World No. 119 Ying-Ying Duan won her first ITF singles title last season on the tour and compiled a 30-16 record outside of WTA action. She also managed to earn $107,217 for her efforts that year.
This marks the first time that these two competitors meet on the WTA circuit. Duan is likely to be thoroughly outmatched during the encounter, as Kvitova is one of the toughest players to get past in the upper echelon of the tour. Given her motivation to succeed early on, it is unlikely that we will see an upset I the making on Monday.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova in Straight Sets