Safarova vs. Kvitova
|Date & Time||Saturday June 24, 2017, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Safarova +214 / Kvitova -235 -- Over/Under:
Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova meet in the semifinals of the 2017 Birmingham Classic.
Petra Kvitova is coming off a straight sets win over Kristina Mladenovic that took 23 games to decide. In the victory, Kvitova won 74 percent of her first serve points and 72 percent of her second serve points. Kvitova is now 4-1 since returning from having her hand sliced open, and she's coming off a match in which she dropped just 15 service points. Kvitova is clearly ahead of the curve, especially when you consider many thought she would never be the same considering the damage to her hand that required a lot of physical therapy. Kvitova has yet to drop a set this tournament and can make her fourth final appearance on grass. Kvitova hopes to make her first final appearance since the 2016 WTA Elite Trophy. Kvitova has won five of her last seven matches on grass court.
Lucie Safarova is coming off a three set win over Daria Gavrilova that took 32 games to decide. In the victory, Safarova won 72 percent of her first serve points and 48 percent of her second serve points. Safarova is coming off a long match that included two tiebreaks, and she's needed eight sets to get to this point. Safarova has been broken seven times this tournament, but she's buckled down in every big moment and found a way to advance to her fourth semifinal this season. Safarova has to be more consistent with her second serve in order to advance to the final. Safarova has a chance to make her third final appearance since 2016. Safarova has won six of her last seven matches on grass court.
These two have played nine times and Kvitova has won every match. The most recent meeting was in the 2016 Birmingham Classic, a match Kvitova won in 17 games. Three of the matches were decided in three sets.
Kvitova has not only been the better and more consistent player this week, but she's simply owned Safarova in past meetings. Of course, not having many matches under her belt is the x-factor here, as it’s unfair to expect Kvitova to continue to breeze through the competition, but shes looked sharp up to this point. If Safarova continues to struggle with her serve at times, this is a match Kvitova should have little trouble winning, just like in the past.
I’ll side with Kvitova to advance to the final.