Cirstea vs Putintseva 25.05.17
Nurnberg Cup, Germany, Clay Courts, WTA
Today sees us look at a match from a tournament that we have not focused on before now, the Nurnberg Cup from Germany. Having only been part of the WTA Tour circuit since 2013, it might surprise you that it has always attracted some star names, with previous winners including Simona Halep, Genie Bouchard and last year, Kiki Bertens. This year again, many of the top players are choosing to play here as their preparation continues for the French Open, which starts next week. Two of those top players that are not only playing here, but have reached today’s Quarter Finals are Romanian world number 67, Sorana Cirstea and Kazakhstani world number 28, Yulia Putintseva. This is this match up that is going to get our attention today.
So, firstly how did both players reach this stage; Cirstea beat Monica Niculescu in Round 1, she won the first set 6-4 before Nuiculescu was forced to retire through injury at the beginning of the set two. Cirstea did not have things all her own way in Round 2, hoever she eventually overcame the American Varvara Lepchenko, 6-0 6-7 6-3. That scoreline looks relatively comfortable on paper, however it was anything but, Cirstea served for the match at 5-2 in the second set, and had match points at 5-3, before some inspired tennis from Lepchenko took the set into a tiebreak, which the American won 7-4. Cirstea did regain her composure in the deciding set though and was able to break the Lepchenko serve in the opening game, this proved decisive as she went on to take the set and with it earn her place in today’s Quarter Final. Putintseva beat the Israeli, Julia Glushko in Round 1, 6-4 5-7 6-0 and had no issues in comfortably dispatching Yanina Wickmayer 6-4 6-0 yesterday. It was a very accomplished and polished performance from the 22 year old Kazakh, and more of the same today may well see her advance into the Semi’s.
Unfortunately my personal database and model are down this morning (server issues), so i don’t have the recent clay court means for both players. We can however still look to draw some conclusions from the stats we have available from their matches in the opening two rounds.
Breaking down the week’s serving stats for both players; Cirstea has won 61% of her points on serve, serving just 1 ace in her opening 2 matches. Putintseva has won just 51% of her points on serve, serving 3 aces in her opening 2 matches. Putintseva will need to improve on these numbers drastically today, as Cirstea will look to really go after the return, this could be a real difference-maker in this match.
As far as the week’s return of serve stats are concerned; Cirstea has won 51% of her return points and 67% of her break points, whilst Putintseva has won 60% of her return points and 65% of her break points. Putintseva will need to keep these numbers up today, especially as she might struggle on serve, if she can do that though she stands a chance here.
Both players like to attack off the ground and I’m expecting plenty of breaks of serve. I have a feeling this contest might just come down to who takes their chances in the clutch moments. One thing’s guaranteed though, this will be a thoroughly entertaining match, so sit back and enjoy.
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