Kvitova vs Bencic (Approx 02:00am AEDST)
I still have their meeting from the Australian Open fresh in my mind for this match. Straight after the 6-1 6-4 whitewash, Bencic took to Instragram to write "When Petra is on fire, she's on fire", acknowledging how helpless she felt on court against Kvitova. Bencic can be quite self deprecating at times (almost to a fault), however this sign of outward praise to her opponent showed just how much respect she has for Kvitova, and just how hard she found it on the other side of the net. Bencic was in pretty good form then, and slightly better form now with a string of comebacks over the last couple of rounds, but you have to ask just how much will change from that previous meeting?
Petra Kvitova wasn't exactly fresh going into that match with Bencic in January. She had come off a full week of tennis where she claimed the Sydney title (Bencic had a long week too, reaching a semi final in Hobart), and was absolutely ruthless in the early rounds of the Australian Open. With the conditions in Dubai perhaps slightly more favourable for Kvitova, it makes you wonder how much Bencic can turn this around?
The Swiss has put together a very solid week of tennis. After wins against Hradecka and Voegele, she has gone on to record 3 set victories over Sabalenka, Halep and Svitolina. She saved 6 match points against Sabalenka, and came from a set down against Halep, and a 3-5 third set deficit against Svitolina in the Semi Final. She has almost looked better at times when under the pump and in losing positions, however has found a way in each occasion.
Petra Kvitova has been solid without being convincing this week, however I do like her to lift her performance coming off her win from a set down against Hsieh. The bigger the opponent has struck the ball this week, the better the performance from Kvitova. She can sometimes struggle for patches against players that can serve big and hit spots for periods of a match (ie. Brady in set 2 on Wednesday), however I don’t think Bencic’s first serve packs a big enough punch to fall into this category.
I am comfortable making a 2 unit play on this match going under 21.5 total games. I was tossing up this and Kvitova -4.5 games, however I am happy to settle on this option. I think Petra should be too good, and will take her career finals record at all levels to 34-11.
2 units Total Games Under 21.5 at $1.83 at Bet365