Stephens, Barty Headline Pre-French Events at Nurnberg, Strasbourg; WTA Previews
by Staff | May 20th, 2018, 4:27 pm

Sloane Stephens is the lone Top 10 player looking to get some extra match play in prior to the start of the French Open, heading the field this week in Nurnberg, Germany.
Aussie Ashleigh Barty leads the field in Strasbourg where Sam Stosur defends her championship from last year.

NURNBERG, Germany; surface: clay

Seeds: Sloane Stephens, Julia Goerges, Kiki Bertens, Zhang Shuai, Irina-Camelia Begu, Sorana Cirstea, Alison Van Uytvanck, Katerina Siniakova

Floaters: Carina Witthoeft, Mona Barthel, Kirsten Flipkens


(3) Bertens will start against a qualifier then face the veteran winner of Barthel-Witthoeft…

Wildcards were awarded to Stephens and Germans Katharina Hobgarski and Andrea Petkovic…

Ana Bogdan and Polona Hercog withdrew from the event…

Bertens last year won her second consecutive Nurnberg title, defeating Czech Barbora Krejcikova in the championship…

Bertens (2017-16) is the lone former champ in the field.


STRABBOURG, France; surface: clay

Seeds: Ashleigh Barty, Daria Gavrilova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Mihaela Buzarnescu, Dominika Cibulkova, Timea Babos, Danielle Collins, Hsieh Su-wei

Floaters: Lucie Safarova, Sam Stosur


No Top 15 players in the field…

(2) Gavrilov starts against American Jennifer Brady and is then looking at the veteran Stosur in the second round, which would be a rematch of last year’s final…

Wildcards were allotted to Cibulkova, Safarova, and France’s Fiona Ferro…

Withdrawing from the tournament were Catherine Bellis, Alize Cornet, Camila Giorgi, Beatriz Haddad Maia, Aleksandra Krunic, Monica Niculescu, Monica Puig, Aryna Sabalenka, Donna Vekic, and Elena Vesnina…

Stosur beat Gavrilova in last year’s final from a set down…

Stosur (2017,’15) is the lone former champion in the field.


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10 Comments for Stephens, Barty Headline Pre-French Events at Nurnberg, Strasbourg; WTA Previews

jalep Says:

Strasbourg final – Cibulkova vs Pavlyuchenkova. A toss-up. Neither have had the best 2018. Their matches are usually close. Cibby has won both times they played on clay – both 3 sets.

Nurnberg final – Larsson vs Riske. They have only met twice. Riske won both times way back in 2010 and 2014 on hc. Larsson has played more matches and has won slightly more in 2018. Slightly favoring Larsson on clay.

Andy Mira this is what I picked:
First round – didn’t vary much from the favorites on this

But very tempting to pick Kuznetsova over Muguruza. Mugu disappoints me lately but I went with her. Other first round questionable picks: Serena over Kristyna Pliskova, ok. Azarenka over Siniakova, ok. Peterson over Hsieh (i like Hsieh better). And I picked Dolehide over Voegele, and not how oddsmakers have it.

As for how far I take the old Superstars. Azarenka one round, Serena two rounds, Sharapova two rounds, Venus one round. And these could be huge mistakes!!! LOL copy at your own risk! And I might really be doing much of this to take Karolina Pliskova deep – Karolina has a nightmare draw. Also, I feel very shaky picking Mugu over Sveta, as already mentioned!

Halep over Bertens (though I fear Simona going out to Mertens more than Bertens)
Karo Pliskova over Muguruza
Svitolina over Ostapenko
Kvitova over Wozniacki

Simona over Karolina (Karolina has the worst draw – chance is slim really that she makes it this far.)
Svitolina over Kvitova (Kvitova has a tougher draw, imo)

I just cannot pick anyone but Simona – my heart is still broken from last year RG. Which is silly because I’m also attached to Kvitova winning RG. Head says Svitolina over everyone. Her toughest opponents are Keys and Ostapenko.

AndyMira Says:

Hey back j!….Thank u for the heads up!…Yeah!…Simona’s draw is mean!…Urgh!…She could get a hard test by Mladenovic too…Mladenovic reached 4th Rd last year right?So,maybe it will her an xtra motivation to do more this year…
And then like u said Mertens!…Oh wow!…Very dangerous here for our Sim j!…And then Garcia…Oh Gosh!….if she can get out from this unscathed,i picked her to meet with Maria in semis j!…hehe…And i picked Sim to the final once again this year…

Oh!..bout Mugu…Urgh!!…Yeah!I’m very tempted to take her to Kuzzy too!…her form is sooo inconsistent atm,i’m not surprised if Kuzzy take her out in the 1st Rd…And i don’t think she’ll go far either this time around j!…She maybe still haunted by the French spectators from last year..She’s lucky not to stumble over French players in the early rd,if not..i don’t think she survive…can u believe it j?I took her out by Hercog in 3rd!…hehe…I know,my a#$ maybe will get kick hard for this…but Polona is a dangerous underdog imo…

Goerges/Cibby 1st rd also very interesting j!….Even tho Cibby reached final in Strasbourg this week,she maybe will have a letdown next week…so far,i picked her over Julia j!…But maybe change it later…

Oh!…Do u know Ash Barty had to pulled out becoz she had a back soreness?But she said she still will play at FO next week….But,doesn’t matter…i think she still will lost to Serena in 2nd RD anyway…If she’s healthy & fit..she maybe can challenge Serena..but..alas!

Oh!…Like i said j!…So far i choose Maria over Karo…but not definite yet…And u won’t believe what i’ve done!…I took Ostapenko out by Martic!….Hahaha…OHyeah!…One interesting fact j!…Jo Konta never passed 1st rd for the past 3 years!..Ohohoho!…So,I picked putintseva over her j!…And maybe i’ll be proven wrong next week!..Hehehe..

Whoo!..My post already 1 km long!!hahaha…So,i better stop here j!…We chat next time k?

Margot Says:

Haven’t looked yet but my heart is going with Petra. She has been getting into her awesome best!

AndyMira Says:

Yeah M!…I like Petra chances too!…I certainly have to make a 2nd account just to pick Petra!Haha…

jalep Says:

AM and Nargot
I woke up at this ungodly hour here because wanted to see how you respond, AM. And Margot, I do think Petra Kvitova could win this – even though she likes to laugh and say no about it. If she’s healthy she can beat Sharapova perhaps easier than Halep but Halep beat her in Rome :D hehehehe and Svitolina may very well run circles around everybody with her marathon fitness and speed…or she could always lose …buckle under pressure or something.

Okay and here’s what I think more specifically about Maria. I watched her matches from Rome and she ran out of stamina by the Semi. Halep dropped a set to her then realized the woman across the net wasn’t up to her old level and blitzed past her. Sharapova will not make the Final this year – I may be underestimating her picking Karolina Pliskova over her but Pliskova isn’t the same player that lost to her in 2015 Fed Cup and Sharapova isn’t at her best level. Look at their YTD 2018 stats. Pliskova can beat her!! Pliskova was the star of Fed Cup win over Germany — even more than Kvitova. Karolina won’t be intimidated – also if conditions are good for Maria, conditions are just as good for Pliskova. I think Pliskova has more endurance, having played and won twice as many matches this season as Sharapova.

Well thanks you for your input AM and Margot! And good Luck!!

PS Although Mladenovic is a popular French player, her mind is too into Dominic Thiem. She’s still not focusing on her singles (tennis). Her doubles play is mostly unaffected and good. Can’t pick her deep in singles.

And I just realized we have 22 hours left to pick ๐Ÿ˜ hahaha — but before I go back to sleep have to rethink my emotional favorite Simona and possibly have Elina winning or just go with the other heart pick Kvitova. Tho I believe in Svitova running circles around everyone, Also believe in Kvitova out-lasting Maria should they meet. And beating her compatriot Pliskova more than Maria. Actually I’m sticking by my Karolina to beat Maria and leaning now toward Kvitova winning it all. LOL but don’t be surprised if I leave Halep where she is. I think Simona is equal to Svitolina and is maybe the only one fit enough to out-maneuver Svitolina in the final – except maybe….. Kvitova over-powering everyone :D Halep had to play the final after the rush of realizing she could beat Maria in the Semi in Rome. Simona was a noodle in the Rome final vs Svitolina. But I don’t think that will happen again if they meet.

Anyways…gosh I love WTA. I even like Sharapova better than I used to! But she’s not up to winning RG again yet. Now I go back to bed before lightening strikes me.

AndyMira Says:

Hey back j!…I’m not sure about Karolina over Maria j…Sure she’s not the same karo of Fed Cup 2015…But from mental toughness POV,Maria is the strongest j…U remember how Karo lost her head against Sakkari last week after she argued with umpire & lost the point?It’s should be a small matter but she allowed that incident to haunt her & lost the match in the end…But,u’re still the Queen of WTA j!…And i sucks atm!ATP or WTA…hahaha…Your guts probably right j!…We’ll see okay?

I want Simona to win so bad..she’s soooo deserves it after last years mega disappointment…But,i don’t think her mental strong enough to get her to the last hurdle j!…But i really love for her to prove me wrong!…C’mon Sim!!

jalep Says:

Thanks AM. It’s hard for SiMona be she overcame her fears and refused to lose to Sharapova in the Rome Semi. She was able to out perform Maria. And though she lost the Rome final to Svitlina. She walked away with confidence after Rome.

I don’t worry about Pliskova’s mini meltdown in Rome. It was bad umpiring all over that tournament. I believe in her ytd record for 2018 and the fact that she is the ace queen and Maria’s arm is old and tired.

jalep Says:

Sorry for typos . I’m ony phone :)

AndyMira Says:

Oh!Okay j!…Hey,I just read that Bacsinszky just pulled out…But don’t know who’s going to replace her…But good thing is,her opponent is a maybe her replacement still can score a win..

Hey,j & M!..!Good luck to u guys k?I have no doubt u guys will kick my backside again 2 weeks from now!It’snothing new this days!hahaha…

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