There’s a big opportunity for someone in the bottom half of the Australian Open draw to make the final now. The top half contains multiple former No.1’s while it is between Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Danielle Collins, Ashleigh Barty and Petra Kvitova in the other half. Kvitova will be hoping to make her second semi final in Melbourne but will have to work hard for the victory against the home favourite Barty. They have played once this year in Sydney, where Kvitova came from a set down to win a close one in the final. Check out the Kvitova vs Barty H2H matches.
Kvitova has been tipped to win a slam so many times only to lose early to a much lower ranked player. There were worries the same might happen against Amanda Anisimova but she took the game to the young American from the beginning and didn’t even need an hour to seal the victory 6-2 6-1. She served over 80% first serve in an outstanding performance, dropping just 8 points on serve the whole match. “I’m serving pretty well and I’m moving well, as well. You know, sometimes when I’m nervous, I’m quite tight and nothing really working, but this time I feel good. I’m really enjoying it to be on the court.” she said on what is different for her this fortnight.
Barty had to work much harder for her spot in the last 8, taking the match to Maria Sharapova and eventually winning 4-6 6-1 6-4. Sharapova had previously been one of the tougher players to beat going into deciders but has lost that edge in recent times. Barty bounced back from losing the first set by taking 10 of the next 11 games before Sharapova made one final attempt at a comeback. A vital hold for 5-3 from 15-40 was the difference maker for Barty, who eventually closed out the match in her next service game for the win. “I gave myself opportunities to go 5-love and I think 5-2, as well. Just couldn’t execute. Was doing all the right things but very happy to come through in the end.” she said.
In 2012, Kvitova was riding the wave of her Wimbledon title and looked a future No.1 before losing a dramatic semi final to Maria Sharapova here. Her career stuttered for a while but she may be able to erase those memories with the draw lining up well for her. Should she beat Barty, she would be heavily favoured to beat either opponent and make the final.
Prediction – Petra Kvitova in three sets