Fed Cup semifinal preview: Caroline Garcia (France) - Kiki Bertens (Netherlands)

In the semifinal tie between France and Netherlands, Caroline Garcia kicks things off with a clash against Kiki Bertens

Garcia’s current form

The Frenchwoman just last week captured the Charleston doubles’ title with partner Kristina Mladenovic for her first title of the year. In the singles, she has had a decent season so far, making it to two semifinals this year in Dubai and Monterrey. In her most recent tournament in Charleston, she was out in the first round losing in a tight three-set battle.

Garcia hard at work for her match against Bertens | Photo: Jean-Francois Monier/Getty Images
Garcia hard at work for her match against Bertens | Photo: Jean-Francois Monier/Getty Images

In the Fed Cup, Garcia won both the singles rubber and the doubles rubber in convincing fashion to bring France to the semifinals. Throughout the matches played in singles she has a 5-3 record. On clay, she is 1-1, both of those happened during the match against Italy in last year’s quarterfinals.

Berten’s current form

The Dutch player has had a relatively better year and already has 21 match wins under her belt since the start of the year. Her most recent achievement was her run in Miami where she almost took out second seed Angelique Kerber in the third round with her brand of tennis.

Bertens was the star during their quarterfinal win | Photo: Sergei Bobylev/Getty Images
Bertens was the star during their quarterfinal win | Photo: Sergei Bobylev/Getty Images

Her most notable wins this year have come in the Fed Cup where she won both her singles rubber in impressive fashion and taking out last year’s finalist Russia in the process. Her record in the competition is almost perfect, losing just once in 14 singles rubbers played. That only loss though significantly was on clay where she succumbed in straight sets last year against Slovakia. Apart from that, on clay she boasts a 5-1 record.

Analysis

The pair have met once before dating all the way back to 2011 in Ankara, Turkey. In that match, Bertens recorded a straight forward straight sets victory against Garcia. Both players were out of the top 100 at that time and today, Garcia sits at 45 while Bertens is at 96 in the world.

Both players can serve well and when at their best, that would be their weapon. If Garcia struggles with her serve, expect Bertens to be all over it. The Dutchwoman is also able to work the court slightly better as she manages to open up the court and pulls players wide. She would need to do more of that on the clay.

There would inevitably be nerves for both starting off the first rubber as they would want to give their country a winning start. On paper, the Netherlands are the underdogs and that might work in their favor. With less pressure on her shoulders and her staggering record in the Fed Cup, the rubber may just lean towards the Dutch player.

Prediction: Bertens to win in three sets

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