Expected Points, May 11: The Marvelous Meandering Petra Kvitova

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Anticipated Factors, my new quick, every day podcast, highlights three numbers as an example stats, developments, and fascinating trivia across the sport.

Up immediately: P3tra comes again for a roller-coaster battle with Magda Linette, American males have light even on onerous courts, Serena Williams seems to be forward to an opponent with clay-court expertise.

Scroll down for a transcript.

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Music: Love is the Chase by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2021. Licensed beneath a Inventive Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: Apoxode

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Tough transcript of immediately’s episode:

The primary quantity is 66%, the speed at which Petra Kvitova gained factors yesterday after shedding a 6-1 opening set in Rome to Magda Linette. The 1-6, 6-0, 6-2 advance was an unusually scenic route for the free-swinging lefty, who performed her third consecutive three-setter, and her fifth in 8 matches this yr on crimson clay. Again in 2013, web wags flipped the “e” in Petra for a 3, misspelling her title to focus on her predilection for making issues difficult. She spent that total yr ranked within the prime ten, successful 51 of 74 matches, 37 of her contests going the space. That’s a fair 50%, uncommon territory for a prime participant over a full schedule. It proved an aberration—since then, a extra typical one-third of her matches have required three units. However yesterday’s victory towards Linette makes 9 three-setters in her final 21 outings, an indication that the Czech is as soon as once more taking issues at her personal tempo. For opponents, it’s a reminder {that a} lopsided first set is hardly a assure of a simple day on the workplace. For followers, it hearkens again to time when P3tra’s matches had been among the many most entertaining on tour.

Our second quantity is zero, the variety of American males within the prime 30 of my newest hard-court Elo rankings. The mainstream information is that, for the primary time, the US has no representatives within the ATP prime 30. This analytical model is even worse: Just about all American males favor onerous courts, however they don’t even stand out on their most well-liked floor. Thankfully for followers of the celebs and stripes, assistance is on the way in which, and shortly. 4 males beneath the age of 21 rank within the Elo prime 50: Jannik Sinner, Felix Auger Aliassime, Jenson Brooksby, and Sebastian Korda. The final two are Individuals, and whereas they’re the least completed of the quartet and Brooksby has barely performed above Challenger degree, the 2 20-year-old Individuals are poised to interrupt by way of. The more than likely 2020s parallel of Sampras and Agassi is perhaps Russian, however even when the once-promising era of Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, and Reilly Opelka fails to ship a famous person, American tournaments will quickly have new crop of top-tier US males to rely on.

In the present day’s third and remaining quantity is 210, Serena Williams’s profession matches performed on clay courts. She’s gained 175 of them, together with 13 titles, yet one more entry within the American’s book-length checklist of accomplishments. However Serena has lengthy been picky together with her schedule, and together with her choice for quicker surfaces, she has relegated clay to fewer than 10 matches per season. After a first-round bye, she’ll kick off her 2021 clay season in Rome this week, with a gap match towards both Laura Siegemund or Nadia Podoroska, who face off immediately. Siegemund is seven years youthful than Williams, but she prefers the dust, and has performed greater than twice as {many professional} clay-court matches as her potential second-round opponent. Podoroska, a 24-year-old Argentine most followers hadn’t heard of earlier than her shock run to final yr’s French Open semis, has performed over 250 clay-court matches, greater than Serena regardless of the 15-year age hole. Whoever advances will put their religion in surface-specific expertise and hope for a little bit of rustiness from the American, however based on the Tennis Summary Elo forecast, Williams stays the favourite, with a 59% probability of reaching the spherical of 16.

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