Saturday's Matches to Watch: Tsitsipas v. Goffin; Bencic v. Kvitova

Saturday's Matches to Watch: Tsitsipas v. Goffin; Bencic v. Kvitova

After an excellent run at the Australian Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas looks to win the second title of his career.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. David Goffin

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) - ATP No. 12, UTR No. 17 (15.46)
David Goffin (BEL) - ATP No. 24, UTR No. 21 (15.43)

If there is a weakness is Stefanos Tsitsipas's game, David Goffin will be sure to find it. The problem for Goffin is that Tsitsipas doesn’t seem to have a weakness. If anything, you could argue that his one-handed backhand could break down first, but it takes a player like Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic to exploit the Tsitsipas backhand.

David Goffin will surely poke and prod to find any sort of weakness in the Tsitsipas armor. Perhaps he will break down his backhand, but Goffin is small and likely can’t get the ball out of the 6'4'' Tsitsipas’s strike zone.

The two have played four times before, with an even head to head of two wins apiece. Tsitsipas has the clear advantage on his serve and forehand, but Goffin has consistency and movement on his side. The Belgian was very impressive in his routine victory over Gilles Simon.

Once again in Marseille we have a wonderful clash of styles. The beautiful all-court game and punishing Tsitsipas forehand versus the laser-like precision and quickness of Goffin. Look for the Tsitsipas serve to be the difference maker, with the Greek sensation advancing to another final in 2019.

Belinda Bencic vs. Petra Kvitova

Belinda Bencic (SUI) - WTA No. 45, UTR No. 32 (12.97)
Petra Kvitova (CZE) - WTA No. 2, UTR No. 7 (13.23) 

What a week for Belinda Bencic. After what seemed like a two-year, injury-related hiatus, she is back turning heads with her crisp ball striking and all-court prowess. I thought she would be too tired to beat the supremely fit Elina Svitolina, but I thought wrong.

Putting aside the Serena Williams serve for just one second, Petra Kvitova has the most effective weapon in the women’s game: her huge, lefty sliding serve out wide. When she hits her spot, she has a tremendous amount of open court to work with. On the quick Dubai courts, getting pulled out too far wide is a death sentence.

Will Bencic be able to cover this serve and hustle back to cover the rest of the court? Probably not, but Bencic has already proved me wrong twice this week, not to mention Kvitova admitted to feeling under the weather during this event. The UTR ratings point toward a comprehensive victory for Kvitova, but they have not factored in the magic aura around the young Swiss star this week in Dubai. Bencic has already defeated three Top 10 players this week, and she might as well make it four.



ATP Rio De Janeiro
• Starting Monday 2/18, at 2:30 pm ET, catch live coverage of the Rio Open featuring Dominic Thiem, Fabio Fognini, and Diego Schwartzman.

WTA Dubai
• Watch Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova live from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships starting Saturday, 2/16 at 3:00 am ET

WTA Budapest
• Tennis Channel Plus features live coverage of the Hungarian Ladies Open beginning Monday, 2/18 8:00 am ET

ATP Delray Beach
• Watch Juan Martin del Potro, John Isner and Frances Tiafoe live on Tennis Channel Plus beginning Tuesday, 2/19 at 12:30 am ET.

ATP Marseille
• See Karen Khachanov, Borna Coric and Stefanos Tsitsipas live on Tennis Channel Plus beginning Monday 2/18, 8:30 am ET