Kiki Bertens continues her St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy title defence in the quarter-finals on Friday against rising teenager Anastasia Potapova.
Kiki Bertens 🇳🇱 vs Anastasia Potapova 🇷🇺 Match Info
Date: Friday February 14
Tournament: WTA St. Petersburg, QF
Court: Sibur Arena
Time: 3.30pm local time (12.30pm GMT)
Kiki Bertens vs Anastasia Potapova Head-to-Head
Kiki Bertens vs Anastasia Potapova Match Preview
Undefeated since the Australian Open after two brilliant singles wins in Fed Cup and a dominant opening match of her St. Petersburg title defence, Bertens is looking in ominous form heading into the business stage of the tournament.
After registering her best ever result at the Australian Open, losing in the fourth round to eventual runner-up Garbine Muguruza, Bertens did all she could to propel Netherlands into the Fed Cup Finals last weekend, beating Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus in singles, but her country couldn’t get over the line in the decisive doubles rubber.
Bertens has bounced back strongly from that disappointment, absolutely crushing Veronika Kudermetova 6-1 6-2 in her first match in St. Petersburg on Thursday. The Dutchwoman needed just 57 minutes to complete the whitewash, firing 13 winners, six aces and winning 88 per cent of points behind her first serve.
The 28-year-old has become a top 10 mainstay over the last couple of seasons and will be hoping to improve her results at the slams in 2020 in order to take her game to the next level. Bertens enjoyed her most consistent season in 2018 when she won three WTA titles in Cincinnati, Seoul and Charleston to become the first Dutchwoman to crack the top 10 since 1996. Already an established threat on clay having made the French Open semi-finals back in 2016, Bertens transitioned from a clay-court specialist to an all-surface master as she also reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals. Bertens won the biggest title of her career on the clay of Madrid last year, beating four major champions along the way (Ostapenko, Kvitova, Stephens and Halep), while she also claimed the indoor hardcourt title here in St. Petersburg and remained inside the top 10 all season long.
Currently ranked No. 8 in the world, can Bertens defend a hardcourt title for the first time this week?
Potapova stands in her way in the quarter-finals. While Bertens has played just one match in St. Petersburg so far after receiving a bye in the opening round, Potapova has won four to advance into the quarter-finals of the Premier-level event – and she hasn’t dropped a set yet. The 18-year-old accounted for Martina di Giuseppe and Pauline Parmentier in qualifying before defeating Liudmila Samsonova 6-2 6-4 and Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6(2) 6-3 in the main draw.
A former junior World No. 1 after beating Dayana Yastremska in the 2016 Wimbledon girls final, Potapova first made waves on the WTA Tour as she cracked the top 100 for the first time in 2018 after two runner-up finishes in Moscow and Tashkent. The Russian started 2019 brightly by reaching the second round of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of Budapest – and scored a marquee win over Angelique Kerber at Roland Garros to hit a career-high ranking of No. 64 – but after a semi-final in Jurmala, Potapova struggled for the remainder of the year, winning just two main draw matches to end the season at No. 90.
Potapova didn’t start 2020 in great fashion either, losing in qualifying at Brisbane and Adelaide, while she ran into Serena Williams in the opening round of the Australian Open. However, the Russian is in sensational form in St. Petersburg this week and has nothing to lose as she prepares to face the defending champion.
Kiki Bertens vs Anastasia Potapova Prediction
Potapova is playing some of the best tennis of her young career, but will it be enough to hang with Bertens? The Dutchwoman was hugely impressive in her opening round and is coming off some big wins in Fed Cup over the weekend. Potapova is playing well enough to make this competitive, but Bertens is in great form herself and should be too strong.