Angelique Kerber vs. Donna Vekic
|Date & Time||Tuesday April 23, 2019, 6:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: Kerber -205 / Vekic +180 -- Over/Under:
Angelique Kerber and Donna Vekic meet in the first round of the 2019 tennis Stuttgart.
Angelique Kerber is coming off a semifinal appearance in Monterrey where she lost to Azarenka in three sets. Kerber has won nine of her last 12 matches overall and seven of her last 10 wins have been decided in straight sets. Kerber has been much more consistent these past couple of weeks, but she still has these matches where she struggles with her second serve and it’s been her main downfall. Even in her last match, Kerber won just 26 percent of her second serve points and was broken six times. Kerber must clean that up if she’s going to start pushing for titles as we enter the heart of the season. Kerber has won seven of her last nine matches on clay court.
Donna Vekic hasn’t played since her third round exit in Miami, and she’s actually lost three of her last four matches overall. Vekic got very little on her serve in her last match, which included eight double faults and 20 break points. Vekic has had a hard time getting her first serves in play during this losing stretch. However, it hasn’t been all bad for Vekic, as she did make the final in St. Petersburg and had a semifinal trip in Mexico. Maybe the time off will allow Vekic to clear her head and get back on track for the clay season. Vekic has seven career wins over top-10 players, with two of those coming this year. Vekic has split her last four matches on clay court.
These two have played twice and Kerber won both meetings in straight sets. The most recent meeting was in the 2018 Australian Open. The other match was in 2017 in Toronto. This will be the first match on clay.
I’m not confident Vekic can go from struggling to taking some time off and then beat a top-five player off the bat. Vekic also doesn’t have any consistent success on clay. Kerber has become more trustworthy over the last month or so and seems to be hitting her spots with a bit more confidence. There’s also a clear h2h advantage for Kerber, even if it was just two matches.
Kerber should win this match, likely in straight sets.