WTA Stuttgart final Preview: Anett Kontaveit vs Petra Kvitova
Photos: Getty Images

WTA Stuttgart final Preview: Anett Kontaveit vs Petra Kvitova

The Estonian and Czech have battled through a tough field to reach the championship match with a Premier-level title at stake.

john-lupo
John Lupo

The conclusion to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix occurs as eighth seed Anett Kontaveit faces third seed Petra Kvitova for the championship on Sunday morning.

The Estonian and Czech have navigated their way through an exceptionally tough field to emerge as the last two standing in Germany with the winner claiming a Premier-level tournament.

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Kontaveit's road to the final 

The first round saw the 23-year old dominate her first two rounds, knocking off Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 6-4, 6-3 to open her tournament followed by a second round victory over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova by a 6-3 6-2 score.

The quarterfinals saw Kontaveit face Victoria Azarenka, who had upset defending champion Karolina Pliskova in the previous round. The match close throughout before the Belarussian retired  down 3-0 in the third set.

The Estonian was due to face Naomi Osaka in the semifinals before the world number one was forced to give a walkover with an abdominal injury, sending Kontaveit to the championship match.

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Kvitova's road to the final

Considered one of the favorites for the title, the Czech received a first-round bye. In the second round, Kvitova brushed aside Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 6-1, 6-4. In the quarterfinals, the third seed overcame seventh seed Anastasija Sevastova 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.

The semifinals saw a showdown with sixth seed Kiki Bertens, who was coming off of an impressive straight sets victory over two-time champion Angelique Kerber. The match went the full three sets before Kvitova emerged with a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-1 win.

Head-to-head

This is the sixth all-time meeting with Kvitova holding a 3-2 edge. They split their two previous meetings on clay with their last match coming in Brisbane earlier this year, Kontaveit winning in straight sets.

Who will win the championship?

Both players are playing well coming into this final. Kontaveit has emerged over the last year to reach the later stages of Premier-level events, reaching the final in Wuhan last fall and the semifinals of Miami last month. Comfortable on clay, she's always played Kvitova close.

The Czech has come through two tough matches against Sevastova and Bertens to reach this final and will certainly have the edge in experience. Her finals record is a stellar 26-9, despite losing her last two. Wary of the Estonian, expect Kvitova to bring her best.

In the end, the two players are very similar: both have powerful games and rely on their serve and groundstrokes to get them through matches. Confident and playing well, this should be a very even matchup that will likely be decided in a final set.

Prediction: Kvitova in three sets

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