Ashleigh Barty vs. Angelique Kerber
|Date & Time||Tuesday September 25, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Angelique Kerber and Ashleigh Barty meet in the third round of the 2018 tennis Wuhan Open.
Angelique Kerber is coming off a straight sets win over Madison Keys that took 11 games to decide. In the victory, Kerber won 81 percent of her first serve points and 59 percent of her second serve points. Kerber won 70 percent of her total service points, produced five breaks and won the first set 6-0 before Keys retired early in the second set. It was a much needed victory for Kerber, who entered this tournament splitting her last six matches, but she still had four double faults and struggled with her second serve. Keys also clearly wasn’t 100 percent in the match, so there’s still some proving to do on Kerber’s side. Since winning the Wimbledon, Kerber has been inconsistent at best, so another match under her belt should help decide which version of the grand slam champion we’re going to get. Kerber has won four of her last six matches on hard court.
Ashleigh Barty is coming off a three sets win over Saisai Zheng that took 25 games to decide. In the victory, Barty won 81 percent of her first serve points and 45 percent of her second serve points. Barty won 64 percent of her total service points and produced five breaks on eight break points. Barty has quietly been one of the hotter players as of late, winning 12 of her last 16 matches, and she gives herself a really good chance to advance even further if she continues to serve the way she has been lately. Barty hopes to win three matches in a single tournament for the third time in her last five tries. Barty has four career wins over top-10 players, all of which came last year. Barty has won five of her last six matches on hard court.
These two have played three times and Kerber has won two of those matches. The most recent meeting was this year in Sydney, a match Kerber won in straight sets. Barty’s only win over Kerber was in China in 2017. Two of the three matches have been decided in straight sets.
I’m still not sold on Kerber turning things around and Barty is red hot right now and quite confident with her shotmaking. However, if Kerber has snapped out of her funk, she should win this match. Kerber has the return skills and the defense to frustrate Barty, making her win longer rallies than she’d like.
I’ll side with the German here.