A first round clash between world No. 8 Jelena Jankovic and lucky loser Mona Barthel is scheduled to take in Stuttgart. It has the makings of an intriguing contest, as Barthel dominated Jankovic in their only other tour meeting back in the 2012 Miami Open.
Fifth seed Jelena Jankovic began her clay court season in Charleston, where she reached the quarter-final round before losing to Eugenie Bouchard in three sets. She would then head to Bogota, where she would run through the draw before losing in the final to France’s Caroline Garcia. Now 6-2 on the red dust, Jankovic will be looking to improve upon her record this week with a solid performance at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
Mona Barthel caught a lucky break in Stuttgart. After falling in the final round of qualification to Ajla Tomljanovic in a tight three set battle, she now finds herself in as a Lucky Loser after both Caroline Wozniacki and Dominika Cibulkova were forced to withdraw from the event with separate injuries. While Jankovic was initially supposed to face Ana Ivanovic, the Serbian No. 2 has not been shifted to meet Sabine Lisicki on Wednesday.
This marks the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Barthel leading the head-to-head series 1-0. She earned her victory back in 2012 at the Sony Open in Miami, where she dominated the affair to earn the 6-0, 6-3 win. This will likely be an entirely different contest, as Jankovic has been in relatively fine form this season and will be a vastly different competitor two years later and on a different surface.
Prediction: Jelena Jankovic in Three Sets