This will be the last match on today in Monterrey and the world number 1 will be looking to take the last spot in the quarterfinals. Kerber had to play three sets in her first round on the way to making the second round were as Minella won her opener in straight sets. Kerber enters the encounter with Minella as the heavy favourite to take home the match.
Angelique Kerber has been playing quite well recently after a disappointing Australian Open series. She had a poor result as she fell in the second round of Doha but then scored her best result of the season with a semifinal run at the Premier 5 tournament in Dubai. She made the fourth round of Indian Wells before falling to eventual champion Elena Vesnina and then fell to Venus Williams in the Miami quarterfinals. Mandy Minella has had the best start to a season in her career and has qualified for tournaments she doesn’t normally qualify for. She reached the semifinals of Tapei before falling to eventual champion Elina Svitolina and then qualified for Dubai and Indian Wells but fell in the first round at both tournaments. She then scored her first ever win at the Premier Mandatory level event in Miami by making the second round, so she’s coming in with confidence.
Angelique Kerber has played here twice before, in 2011 and 2013, because she normally plays the Charleston event. Her best result was in 2013, when she reached the final before falling to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets. Her worst result came in 2011 when she fell in the first round to Polana Hercog in straight sets. I think she will be feeling comfortable on the surface just because she has that final record behind her but she is defending semifinal points from last year in Charleston so there’s a bit of pressure to perform. Minella has also played this tournament twice before, in 2012 and 2016, and the results were very different from each other. Her best result was in 2012, when she reached the quarterfinals before losing easily to Sara Errani and her worst result was last year when she fell in the second round of qualifying to Nicole Gibbs in straight sets. I feel like Minella might feel a little uneasy as she is still getting used to playing in the main draw in Monterrey. I think this will play a small part in today’s match and it will slightly favour the higher ranked Kerber.
Head to Head Record
Angelique Kerber and Mandy Minella have never faced each other on the WTA Tour throughout their careers.
Kerber will not be playing well at all today but also Minella will be quite nervous heading into this big stage match. In the first couple of games of the match, Minella will be too nervous to do much and she will fall down an early break. From there, she will shake off some of her nerves and manage to break back, which will get it level to 4-4. Kerber will become tight and on top of her poor play that will be enough for Minella to make a break for the set. Minella will win the next two games and take the set 4-6, but it would have been a messy set. In the second set, it will be tight as Minella’s nerves will build up again and Kerber still won’t be playing well. At 3-3, Minella will be to nervous to hit through her shots and Kerber will break once or twice and get the set 6-3. It will be a similar story in the final set as Kerber will go up an early one or two breaks and won’t look back as she will eventually close out the 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win.