WTA Strasbourg Final Prediction: Kaja Juvan vs Angelique Kerber

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After a week of thrilling action, we arrive in the final of the 2022 WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg. Who will leave for Roland Garros with plenty of momentum? Will it be former World No. 1 Angelique Kerber or a debutant at that stage, Kaja Juvan? Who do you think will prevail?

Angelique Kerber vs Kaja Juvan

Head-to-head: Juvan 1-0

Angelique Kerber has never considered clay her favorite surface. Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam she hasn’t won. The German also has just three professional titles on it, two coming under the roof in Stuttgart, which plays significantly faster and more hard court-like. Her movement isn’t as effective on clay, especially in defense, the flatter backhand can’t do as much damage. Kerber made it work in Strasbourg though, surviving tough three-set battles against Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Magda Linette.

Kaja Juvan is debuting in a WTA Tour final, having lost her previous two semifinals at Bol 2019 and Portoroz 2021. The Slovenian has had a much stronger season than Kerber though, picking up nineteen wins before this event (her opponent had just two). Her clay-court campaign wasn’t that impressive, but Juvan was able to catch some great rhythm in Strasbourg. In the four matches leading up to the final, she didn’t drop a single set. While the first couple of wins could be attributed to weak opposition, the victories over Elise Mertens and Karolina Pliskova were pure class.

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The two have played once before, meeting in the opening round at the 2020 Roland Garros. Juvan, then 19-year-old, defeated Kerber fairly comfortably 6-3 6-3. The Slovenian has a wide repertoire of strokes that fits the dirt very well and her creativity, along with being a very natural mover, probably gives her an edge over the former World No. 1 in such conditions. However, we can never be certain how a player will react to the pressure of their first final. For Juvan, this will be the most important match of her career. Kerber has been in this spot plenty of times before. Leaning toward the youngster, but it’s not a vote of confidence.
Prediction: Juvan in 3

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