The first ever WTA Wuhan Open reaches its championship match on Saturday in China between Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard.
Kvitova is there by virtue of a straight sets win over Elina Svitolina that saw my best bet of yesterday pay out, with the over 20.5 total games scraping home thanks to a second set fight back by the Ukrainian.
And Bouchard was helped along a little by an injury to Caroline Wozniacki in the second semi final, but in truth the result of that match wasn’t really affected in what was a decent display from the Canadian.
Petra Kvitova vs Eugenie Bouchard
This is a repeat of the Ladies Singles final at Wimbledon a few months ago in which Kvitova was a worthy winner and I would have to side with the Czech again here.
We start at around 08:00 UK time (15:00 local) and once again it will be very hot and humid in Wuhan, with temperatures expected to be in excess of 30C and humidity will be at least 60 percent – which at least is a drop from the 90 percent it will be in the morning there.
So, tough conditions again and both will be glad of their fairly quick semi final wins, which will be vital for energy conservation in this sweltering heat.
Kvitova is a rightful favourite coming into this one after her two comfortable career wins over this opponent and she’s shown arguably the best form of anyone in this Premier 5 event this week.
The Wimbledon champion was on fire when she won the title against Bouchard on the lawns of the All England Club in the summer and she’ll do well to reach those heights again here, but I still expect her to take the win on Saturday.
Kvitova really took the game to Bouchard that day and if she does so again and finds somewhere near her best level I think this one is out of Bouchard’s hands.
Bouchard looked good in defeating a hobbled Wozniacki, but it’s much easier for the Canadian to step up, take the ball early and impose herself on an opponent like Caro and I don’t see her being able to use the same approach against Kvitova.
There’s always a chance with Kvitova that her radar might be off and that being the case it could go to a deciding set, but the forehand and consequently the winners are flowing off Petra’s racquet right now and I can’t see Genie coping if the Czech’s excellent form continues.
Kvitova also has the added incentive of cementing her place in the WTA Finals in Singapore with a win on Saturday, but I doubt she’ll really need that as motivation with a Premier 5 title also the prize.
It would be Kvitova’s ninth Premier level title if she won on Saturday and she has an excellent 8-2 record in Premier finals, while this is Bouchard’s first Premier level final.
Many forget that Bouchard is yet to really start in terms of collecting titles and she has only one WTA Tour crown to her name so far, which came at Nurnberg this year on clay.
She’ll doubtless have many to come, but I think she’ll have to settle for a runner-up spot on Saturday.
Kvitova should have enough to land the minus 3.5 game handicap at a price of 2.05.
Back Kvitova –3.5 games to beat Bouchard at 2.05