2011 Brisbane International champion Petra Kvitova, seeded fifth at this year’s tournament, will go up against America’s Jennifer Brady in the last eight. The Czech is the only non-American left in the top half of the draw with Brady’s compatriots, Madison Keys and Danielle Collins in the other quarterfinal match of the same half. Kvitova is seeking to make her third consecutive semifinal on Australian soil while Brady is in her maiden appearance in the quarterfinal stage of a Premier tournament.
After a weird season of 2019, where a solid campaign in the first half was met with a stutter in the form of a forearm injury, which substantially hindered her progress as the season went by, ultimately going winless at the WTA Finals for the second year running, Kvitova looks to be getting back on track in her first tournament of the year here in Brisbane.
The Czech, seeded fifth in her fifth appearance here, started off slow in her opener but gathered enough steam to prevail over the top-ranked Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Her next match was a more routine affair as she swept past another Russian in Liudmila Samsonova in straight sets to secure a quarterfinal berth, her first here since her 2011 title run.
Kvitova’s opponent Brady finished 2019 on high, recording her best year-end ranking to date, number 56, and the American is showing some real progress in 2020 already. Having had to come through three rounds of qualifying in Brisbane, the American scored a solid victory in the first round, coming from a set down to see off 2015 champion Maria Sharapova, and carried on that momentum with a straight-set upset win over world number one Ashleigh Barty next. Can the American add another top player, in the form of Kvitova, to her scalp?
This will be the second encounter between the pair. Their first came in the third round of the 2019 Dubai Tennis Championships where Kvitova brushed Brady aside in three sets.
Brady enters this match with more matches under her belt in contrast to Kvitova who has played just two matches so far. However, the much older Kvitova outranks the American in terms of experience, having not just won this tournament before, but also the fact that this is Brady’s debut in the quarterfinal stage of a Premier tournament.
Kvitova, who employs a big game, however, is known for her inconsistencies and is prone to shocking upsets as seen in the past, and a loss to Brady here will come as no surprise either. The occasion looks ripe for Brady to continue her momentum, back up her wins over Sharapova and Barty and score her first win over the 2011 Brisbane champion Kvitova. It will not be a straightforward win for the qualifier but she will pull through in the end and ensure an all-American semifinal match next.
Prediction: Jennifer Brady in two tight sets