Petra Kvitova Into 4th Round at 2016 US Open

Petra Kvitova will face Angelique Kerber in the 4th round of the 2016 US Open on Sunday.

It wasn’t long ago that Petra Kvitova was having a season to forget. Through Wimbledon, the Czech player had failed to make the fourth round of any Grand Slam in 2016 and she had no tour titles. However, her season took a turn for the better at the Olympics where she won the bronze medal. The two-time Grand Slam champion is now into the fourth round of the US Open and looking quite dangerous.

Kvitova has scythed her way through the first three rounds of the tournament, winning all of her matches in straight sets. Most recently, Kvitova defeated Elina Svitolina, the 22nd seed at Flushing Meadows and a player who had a victory over Serena Williams in Rio. At her best, Kvitova is a threat to win any tournament she enters, including the Grand Slams. The way the draw has worked out, she may have her biggest threat ahead of the final coming up in the fourth round.

The bottom half of the women’s singles draw looks like this:

Madison Keys vs. Caroline Wozniacki

Johanna Konta vs. Anastasija Sevastova

Roberta Vinci vs. Lesia Tsurenko

Petra Kvitova vs. Angelique Kerber 

If you went with betting odds to determine the fourth-round winners then the quarters on the bottom half of the draw would look like this:

Keys vs. Konta

Vinci vs. Kerber

Kerber is currently a much higher-ranked player than her Czech counterpart. In fact, the German has a great chance to become the World No. 1 with the results from the currently-running Grand Slam. However, on head-to-heads Kerber and Kvitova are dead even at 4-4. With Kvitova seemingly putting some poor play from earlier this season behind her, it seems that a Kerber/Kvitova match is one that should be very competitive.

Furthermore, Kvitova is not considered a major underdog heading into her fourth-round match. Of the eight players remaining in the bottom half of the draw, the two-time Grand Slam champion is the one with most Grand Slam titles. When it comes to big matches, Kvitova has won them more often than anyone around her in the draw. For that reason, that she is playing well at Flushing Meadows makes her hard to ignore. The question that will be answered in the Kerber match is if the Czech player is in fact getting back to her former playing level after such a poor season to date.

At any rate, I expect the winner of the Kvitova/Kerber match to win the subsequent quarterfinal. I see Keys and Wozniacki as relevant in the bottom half of the draw as well. However, the other four players are largely irrelevant except for maybe Vinci, last year’s runnerup that has done little since.

 

 

Shane Lambert