Barbora Strycova has a win-loss record of 16-9, this season. The Czech reached the semifinals in Sydney and Biel and reached the quarterfinals in Auckland. At the Australian Open, where she lost to Serena Williams, and Miami Open, Strycova reached the fourth round. The player ranked 17th on WTA is in very good shape and reached her career-high ranking this season, by reaching the 16th spot in the female ranking.
Her highlights of the 2016 season were the finals in Dubai and Birmingham and the quarterfinals in Rome where she fell to Madison Keys. She has not won a title since Québec City back in 2011 but in the last three years, the Fed Cup champion reached the final in four tournaments. Clay is one of Barbora's favourite surfaces and she did well on this surface in the past few years. A baseliner with an aggressive forehand is what describes this player, who has a great volley too.
Jennifer Brady is playing the main draw as a lucky loser. She lost in the last round of qualifying to Jelena Ostapenko in three sets. The North-American played last season mainly on the ITF Pro Circuit, winning the title in Indian Harbour Beach and Granby. She also reached the semifinals in Scottsdale and Saguenay. On the WTA circuit, she qualified for the main draw in Rio de Janeiro and Montreal and made the quarterfinals in Guangzhou.
This season, Brady has a win-loss record of 11-8 and she passed through the Australian Open qualifying to reach the fourth round, where she lost to the semifinalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. Jennifer qualified to the main draw in Acapulco but lost in the first round to Taylor Townsend. Since that match, she didn't win a single match until arriving in Stuttgart. Her career-high ranking was reached in the beginning of this month. She was ranked 75th on WTA.
Who will pass through?
Barbora Strycova is a very solid player from the baseline and can finish the point very well at the net. She is a very good mover and her weakest stroke is the backhand, although it's still a good one. Jennifer Brady has a good forehand but her backhand is her weakness too. She runs away from her backhand a lot of times or instead of doing that, she appeals to the slice. The Czech can win by forcing Brady to play with her backhand or by varying the strokes a lot of times to surprise the American. Strycova is a very tricky player and can do a few hotshots. To win, Jennifer must be very solid on the return and take advantage of Barbora's second service. She can play to the Czech's backhand too as it is weaker than the other strokes.
Prediction: Barbora Strycova in two sets.