Petra Kvitova continues her bid for a second St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy title when she faces the in-form Ekaterina Alexandrova in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Petra Kvitova ?? vs Ekaterina Alexandrova ?? Match Info
Date: Friday February 14
Tournament: WTA St. Petersburg, QF
Court: Sibur Arena
Time: 6.30pm local time (3.30pm GMT)
Petra Kvitova vs Ekaterina Alexandrova Head-to-Head
Kvitova leads 1-0
2020 | Australian Open R32 | Kvitova 6-1 6-2
Petra Kvitova vs Ekaterina Alexandrova Match Preview
Alexandrova has been on fire this season, losing just one match – but that came against her opponent in St. Petersburg quarter-finals.
Kvitova demolished the Russian by a 6-1 6-2 scoreline in the third round of the Australian Open and brings a 7-1 record in St. Petersburg into their quarter-final showdown on Friday as the Czech aims to add the 2020 trophy to her 2018 triumph this week.
The two-time Wimbledon champion opened her campaign with a tough match against Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium, who has won three of her four WTA titles indoors. It was a mammoth battle for the most part, with Kvitova edging out a tiebreak in the opening set before the pair took a whopping 30 minutes to make it to 1-1 in the second set. Van Uytvanck was the one who came out on top in that mini-tussle to force a decider, but Kvitova regrouped magnificently to steady the ship in the decider and come away with a 7-6(1) 1-6 6-2 victory.
“Definitely, it was a tough one,” Kvitova said after the win. “I’ve never played Alison before, and she’d already played one match on the surface, and for me it was the first one, so that’s always a bit challenging.
“It took me a while to get used to the court,” the World No.11 added. “It kind of suits her game as well as mine.”
It’s been a solid start to 2020 for Kvitova, with the two-time Wimbledon champion reaching the semi-finals in Brisbane, losing to Madison Keys, and the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, where she beat the likes of Alexandrova and Maria Sakkari before succumbing to World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in straight sets. Kvitova was one win away from reaching World No. 1 when she lost to Naomi Osaka in last year’s Australian Open final, but she still put together a great season, finishing inside the top 10 for the seventh time, also winning titles in Sydney and Stuttgart, finishing runner-up in Dubai and making the fourth round of Wimbledon – results that propelled her into the WTA Finals Shenzhen for the seventh time.
However, Kvitova has fallen to World No. 11 after failing to defend her runner-up points in Melbourne – can she regain her spot in the top 10 with a deep run in St. Petersburg this week?
Alexandrova stands in her way in the quarter-finals. The Russian has been in sensational form to launch 2020, winning 11 of her 12 matches so far, securing her maiden WTA title in Shenzhen, reaching the third round of the Australian Open and leading Russia to a Fed Cup victory over Romania on the weekend, while she’s also defeated Daria Kasatkina and Donna Vekic this week in St. Petersburg to make the quarter-finals. Alexandrova is in a purple patch of form, but she knows she has to raise her level considerably again if she is to upset Kvitova in the last eight.
“Every match won just feels amazing and you just want to continue in a row,” enthused Alexandrova. “But it’ll be tough, the next one, because Petra is a top player and I remember when we played in the Australian Open, it was so fast, like 50 minutes or so and it was done, and I couldn’t say what happened – so I hope I can fix all the mistakes I made in that match. I want to believe I learned some lessons and I want to improve myself, so we’ll see.”
The 25-year-old first broke into the top 100 in 2017 as she competed in the main draw of all four Grand Slams, ending the year at No. 73 in the world, but she took a step backwards in 2018 (despite making her first WTA final in Linz at the end of the year) as she struggled to adapt to life on the main tour, winning just nine matches as she dropped to a year-end mark of No. 93. However, Alexandrova found her groove in 2019, registering a 30-24 record for the season, making semi-finals in Budapest, Seoul and Linz and quarter-finals in St. Petersburg, s-Hertogenbosch, Eastbourne and Moscow, while she also scored the biggest win of her career over No. 5 Simona Halep to make the R16 in Beijing.
Off to a superb start in 2020, could this be the season Alexandrova makes strides towards the top 10?
Petra Kvitova vs Ekaterina Alexandrova Prediction
Alexandrova is in excellent form, but she did admit to feeling fatigued earlier in the week and had no answers for Kvitova’s power play in Melbourne. The Russian is at home indoors, but I can’t ignore how Kvitova dismantled Alexandrova less than a month ago. With match-play under her belt, Kvitova is the favourite to make the semi-finals.