Come on, people. Give me something
WTA Match Day January 10, 2017
Best Tennis: #1 Angelique Kerber vs. #26 Daria Kasatkina (Sydney R16)
- Best Tennis. This match features players with the highest (i.e, lowest numerical) combined WTA rank. For example, #1 Angelique Kerber vs. #2 Serena Williams would have a combined rank of 3, which would obviously be the highest combined rank possible. In cases of a tie (e.g., #1 vs. #4 and #2 vs. #3), the match with the smallest difference in rankings will be previewed, as this match (on paper) should be closer.
- Points Defender. This match features the players with the most amount of ranking points to defend based on the live rankings provided by live-tennis.eu. In cases where this match has already been previewed under "Best Tennis," the match with the next highest amount of points to defend will be previewed.
- Eye Catcher. This match is simply one that caught my attention based on player histories, style of play, relative importance, or any other factors, and which does not fit into either of the other categories. If there's another match that caught your attention, please feel free to provide your own preview below.
Following her early exit in Brisbane, Kerber could really use some more matches under her belt before the Australian Open next week. Kasatkina, just 19 years old, has risen quickly through the rankings over the past two years. Interestingly, she reached the third round at four consecutive majors prior to her first round exit last fall at the US Open. Despite her top 30 ranking, Kasatkina only reached one semifinal in 2016 (St. Petersburg.
H2H: Kerber leads 1-0, winning last year 6-2 6-2 in Montreal.
Prediction: Kerber in 2.
Points Defender: #9 Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. #27 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Sydney R16)
Kuznetsova is defending 370 points following her title in Sydney last year. Although she will not fall lower than #10 after this week (depending on Johanna Konta’s results), this is still a large chunk of points that will need to be made up somewhere if she hopes to remain in the top 10. She faces her countrywoman, Pavlyuchenkova, who is coming off an impressive demolition of Sam Stosur in the first round. “Pavs” has been in and around the top 30 for what seems like forever, but she is remarkably still only 25 years old. Could 2017 be the year she finally breaks through?
H2H: Kuznetsova leads 5-1 and won their last meeting at the 2016 French Open 6-1 6-4.
Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in 3.
Eye Catcher: #208 Lizette Cabrera vs. #340 Jana Fett (Hobart R16)
Here is a match with a combined ranking of 548, yet one of these players will reach a WTA quarterfinal. Say what you will about the quality of the Hobart draw this year, but it still means $5,900 and 60 ranking points for the winner of this match, which has huge implications for players in this ranking neighborhood. Fett would jump nearly 40 places with a win, while Carbrera would jump another 13 to a new career high.
H2H: 1-1. Cabrera won their most recent match at 2016 Toyota (ITF) 7-6 6-1.
Prediction: Having never seen either of these young women play, I’m in the dark on this one. Fett had an impressive win over FO champion Schiavone in round 1. Fett in 3.