Friday's Two to Watch: Kerber vs. Bertens; Medvedev vs. Jarry

Friday's Two to Watch: Kerber vs. Bertens; Medvedev vs. Jarry

Seemingly every time Kerber and Bertens play they bring out the best in each other.

Angelique Kerber (WTA No. 5, UTR No. 8) vs. Kiki Bertens (WTA No. 7, UTR No. 9)

Every time Bertens and Kerber play, it is a match worth watching. All but one of their four meetings has  gone to a deciding set; the exception was a 7-6, 7-6 Kerber win at last year's French Open. These Top 10 talents bring out the best in each other.

Bertens is more physically imposing than her German opponent, and will have a clear advantage on serve, but that’s about it. Both players move exceptionally well, but Kerber can play the angles and off-pace shots more effectively than Bertens. If you like picture-perfect groundstrokes, this is the match for you.

If Kerber plays her best tennis, she will win. If Kerber plays poorly, she can still win; she has an uncanny ability to fight and claw her way through a match like a true champion. For Bertens to win, she will have to play a rock-solid match from start to finish and smother Kerber from the get-go. Look for Kerber to squeak her way through this match and advance to the semifinals of her home tournament.

Daniil Medvedev (ATP No. 14, UTR No. 5) vs. Nicolas Jarry (ATP No. 81, UTR No. 118)

If you haven’t seen Jarry play, think of a poor man’s Juan Martin Del Potro—before the wrist surgeries. Jarry is listed at 6'6", but that might be selling him short. Like Del Potro, Jarry moves gracefully for his size. He has the ability to end the point from either wing at any time. Few players on tour possess his raw power. Also similar to Del Potro, his serve  lacks the pace you would expect from a person of his size.

His opponent, Medvedev, has upgraded his clay-court game this season. He has more wins on clay in 2019 (6) than he had previously in his entire career (2). Both players pulverize their groundstrokes, but Medvedev is far more consistent than the Chilean.

Fatigue could also play a factor in this match. Jarry lost to Marcel Granollers in the final round of qualifying, then got a lucky-loser entry into the main draw and proceeded to upset both Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov. Jarry is certainly a name to remember for the future, but look for Medvedev to put an end to his great run in Barcelona.