PREVIEW: KVITOVA AND BARTY ADD TO RIVALRY IN WOMEN’S QUARTERS ACTION
By Tucker Verdi
Miami Gardens, FL — Four seeded women are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to play for spots in the semifinal of the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itaú. The top of the draw is in action, with two-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova leading the ticket.
Seeded third, Kvitova is still searching for her first Miami Open semifinal and takes on No. 12 seed Ashleigh Barty for the fifth time and third this year — both earlier wins coming on Barty’s home soil. Kvitova fended off Barty in the final in Sydney, coming back from a set and a break down to win, 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(3), and then breezed past her in the Australian Open quarters, 6-1, 6-4.
“She’s a great person, great player,” Kvitova said in regard to her next opponent. “We played two times already in kind of different conditions… It’s always pretty difficult and it’s a very tricky match. She can mix it up a lot. That’s why I need to be ready.”
Kvitova has had a great start to the year, picking up a title in Sydney over Barty and reaching the final of the Australian Open — both of which contributed to her return to No. 2 in the world. If she is able to reach the final here in Miami, Kvitova will rise to World No. 1.
In the other quarterfinal of the day, No. 21 seed Anett Kontaveit plays No. 27 Hsieh Su-wei — each vying for their first Miami Open and Premier Mandatory semifinal. Kontaveit advanced when her round of 16 opponent, Bianca Andreescu, retired during their match with a right shoulder injury. Hsieh advanced by way of an upset over No. 13 seed Caroline Wozniacki, which came two days after her more impressive upset of World No. 1 Naomi Osaka.
“We actually used to train together a little bit,” Kontaveit shared with the press. “So I know how she’s playing, and she’s done really well. I actually enjoy watching her matches a lot. She mixes it up so much, and she’s fun to watch… it’s tough to find your rhythm against her.”
Kontaveit and Hsieh have only played once, though, with the former taking their only meeting in straight sets — coming all the way back in September 2015.
“Yes, a very, very lovely, nice girl,” Hsieh said of Kontaveit at her own press conference. “She hit the ball different than other girls… very aggressive.”
“That’s only time I practice with a girl I make three ace. I still remember. Because normally my game is not like ace, ace, ace, but that time was just practice, and she was hitting the ball so hard. So I was thinking, okay, it’s a practice. So I gonna go super hard.”
See the full order of play here.