Maria Sharapova [WC] vs Anett Kontaveit [Q] H2H: First meeting
The first of the quarter-finals in Stuttgart sees the returning Maria Sharapova face the in-form qualifier Anett Kontaveit. The three-time champ in Stuttgart has claimed two Top 50 victories in the beginning of her comeback to the WTA Tour and will have her sights firmly set on a fourth title this week.
Kontaveit, who has won 9 of her last 10 matches, which includes a first WTA Final in Biel, is in the form of her life. The Estonian won one of the biggest matches of her career by defeating the current Roland Garros champion Garbiñe Muguruza in the last round.
Prediction: Sharapova in 3 sets.
Anastasija Sevastova vs Simona Halep  H2H: Sevastova leads 3-2
It has been quite the comeback for Anastasija Sevastova. Having retired from the sport through injury, the Latvian has clawed her way from the lowest level of the sport and now will play a Premier quarter-final in Stuttgart against a Top 5 player in Simona Halep.
The last time these two players met was at the final of the tournament in Bucharest. On that day, Halep beat Sevastova without even dropping a game. Sevastova will want to put things right in this meeting in Stuttgart, where she has already beaten some formidable names including the British No.1 Johanna Konta in the second round.
The high-flying Kristina Mladenovic will play Carla Suárez Navarro in one of the quarter-final match-ups. The two have experienced two very different years in more ways than one. Mladenovic is soaring in the rankings, having won her first WTA title in singles and having one of the more consistent years she has ever had at this level.
Suárez-Navarro’s rank has dropped considerably, but has now started to hit the ground running with a positive clay court results here in Stuttgart. The Spaniard will probably have a consistent clay court season with Last 16 points to defend at Roland Garros next month.
Mladenovic has played and won a lot of big matches this season and I expect her to continue on the same road in this encounter on Friday.
Prediction: Mladenovic in three sets
Karolina Pliskova  vs Laura Siegemund H2H: First meeting
This looks to be the most intriguing of matches. In most cases you would edge towards favouring the No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova, but Laura Siegemund loves Stuttgart and really enjoys the atmosphere generated at the Porsche Arena.
Will the No.2 seed be able to get the match on her racquet and on her terms? Pliskova will be looking to finish the rallies as quickly as possible, while Siegemund’s initial plan is to make sure the ball stays away from Pliskova’s hitting zone – which she will achieve with lots of variation.
Siegemund is a tricky player on the red clay and I think she will get Pliskova moving in all directions in order to make the night as uncomfortable as possible.
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