Will Kerber defeat her fear opponent Stephens in Singapore?
In the WTA finals of the 2018 season, the top 8 women’s world in Singapore fight for the last big title of the year. They include US Open winner Naomi Osaka and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki. From the German point of view Wimbledon winner, Angelique Kerber competes in Singapore. Due to the serious injury of world ranking leader Simona Halep Angi is ranked first. Divided into two groups of four, the players first meet their group opponents, with the two strongest players qualifying for the semi-finals. For Kerber, the top event did not start as desired, because the Kieler defeated Kiki Bertens after sentence set in three sets. Only in the second group match against the last so strong Naomi Osaka scored the German number one her first victory.
Angelique Kerber – Statistics and Current Form
Current ranking in the world rankings: 2nd
position in the seedling list: 1.
After their super-season in 2016, when Angelique Kerber won both the Australian and the US Open and was also in Wimbledon in the final, the performance of the 30-year-old broke down last year heavily. Without a single tournament victory, Kerber finished the 2017 season and separated in the end from their coach Torben Beltz. With the new coach Wim Fisette the success for Angi returned in 2018, because already at the beginning of the year, the German secured her first title of the season in Sydney. Kerber also reached the semi-finals in Melbourne. In the course of the season, the Kiel remained on the ball, but only in Wimbledon, it worked again with a tournament victory.
With the return to their favourite ground, the hard court, further strong performances of the 30-year-olds were to be expected. However, Kerber remained rather pale in recent weeks and could not live up to her role as a favourite at several events. In the US Open failed Angelique Kerber, which was one of the top odds in terms of betting odds, already in the third round. Also on the Asian continent, the German did not find their form and failed early in Wuhan and Beijing in the tournament. Even before the start of the WTA finals Kerber separated from her coach Wim Fisette and is currently performing without a coach in Singapore.
Last matches by Angelique Kerber:
24.10.2018 – Kerber Vs. Osaka 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 (Masters Cup WTA)
22.10.2018 – Bertens Vs. Kerber 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 (Masters Cup WTA)
04.10.2018 – Zhang Vs. Kerber 6-1, 2-6, 6-0 (Beijing)
02.10.2018 – Kerber Vs. Suarez-Navarro 7-6, 6-1 (Beijing)
30.09.2018 – Kerber Vs. Mladenovic 6-2, 6-2 (Beijing)
Sloane Stephens – Statistics & Current Form
Current ranking in the world rankings: 6th
position in the seedling list: 5.
In the last group match, Angelique Kerber meets Sloane Stephens. The US American has played a strong season and was even ranked third in the world rankings. After her incredible comeback in 2017, where the 25-year-old also won the US Open after winning the tournament in Washington, Stephens began the current season with confidence. The first tournament victory was not long in coming. On home soil in Miami, she won her first title at a premier mandatory in late March by defeating Jelena Ostapenko. On the clay court, Stephens reached in Roland Garros her second final in a Grand Slam tournament. However, it was not enough for the title as Simona Halep was unbeatable. Just a few weeks later, the American faced Montreal Halep again in the final, but it was not enough for the win. In their mission title defence, Stephens failed in the quarterfinals at Anastasija Sevastova. Similar to Kerber, Stephens was also looking for her top form.
In Singapore, the 25-year-old started on the right foot and is in first place in her group with two wins. To kick off Stephens had to compete with her successor as the title holder of the US Open, Naomi Osaka. It was a competitive match, but Stephens took advantage of her strong baseline game and earned many chances to break, making three breaches and winning the match in the crucial third set. The second group game against Kiki Bertens was marked by many breaks. Stephens won the first round in the tiebreak. Then Bertens turned on and left the American in the second set, not a single service match to equalize. In the final round, Bertens made it through an early break on the road to victory, but in the end, Stephens gained the upper hand. Stephens equalized for a 2-2 through a separate break and took her second match win with two more breaks. So Sloane Stephens is currently the only player in the tournament in Singapore, who had not suffered any defeat and is, therefore, the hottest title contender in terms of betting odds. A victory over Angelique Kerber would guarantee the American victory in the group, but the betting odds do not give Sloane Stephens a favourite role in a duel with the Germans.
Last Games by Sloane Stephens:
24.10.2018 – Stephens Vs. Bertens 7-6, 2-6, 6-3 (Masters Cup WTA)
10/22/2018 – Stephens Vs. Osaka 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 (Masters Cup WTA)
17.10.2018 – Jabeur Vs. Stephens 6-3, 6-2 (Moscow)
03.10.2018 – Cibulkova Vs. Stephens 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 (Beijing)
02.10.2018 – Stephens Vs. Zheng 6-1, 6-3 (Beijing)
Angelique Kerber – Sloane Stephens United States – Direct Comparison
In Singapore, Angelique Kerber and Sloane Stephens meet for the sixth time in a direct duel. The first match in 2012 in Indian Wells, Kerber turned to a setback in their favour. It should remain the only victory of the Germans over Stephens. Three years later there was a rematch in Indian Wells, where Stephens succeeded by a two-set victory revenge. Last season, Kerber lost in the knockout stages of Toronto also in two sets. Most recently, the two players faced each other at the Premier Mandatory in Miami in the quarter-finals in March 2018. The later tournament winner Stephens dismantled Kerber in the quarterfinals and left the Germans only three games in the match.
In this duel, Stephens took advantage of her outstanding return game, which also brings them to Singapore in the square to force the Germans to their knees. Sovereign at his own serve and aggressive on the return – against this style of playing Kerber did not defend himself. For the German in the last group, the match is everything and a win is a must to move to the semifinals, so the pressure is on the side of Angelique Kerber. In this match, the outcome of the previous match is very important as Sloane Stephens would be qualified for the semi-finals in a victory for Naomi Osaka. If Kiki Bertens triumphs, defeating Stephens is the only chance for Angelique Kerber.