St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, R1 Preview
?? (6) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs ?? Ekaterina Makarova
Fed Cup teammates Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Ekaterina Makarova will go head-to-head in the opening round of the St. Petersburg Ladies trophy on Wednesday. Pavlyuchenkova and Makarova both made disappointing stars to the season during the Aussie summer. Neither were able to play their best tennis when it mattered and both will be keen to find some much needed momentum in front of their home crowd in St. Petersburg this week.
Pavlyuchenkova was perhaps one of the biggest disappointments during the first month of the season. Pavlyuchenkova started the year at the Hopman Cup where she was unable to win a match before suffering a surprising second round exit at the Australian Open where she was beaten by Kateryna Bondarenko in straight sets. Pavlyuchenkova reached the quarter-finals in St. Petersburg in 2016 but was unable to compete at the event in 2017. The 26-year-old has a history of playing very well indoors, the conditions in St. Petersburg are seemingly perfect for Anastasia.
Like Pavlyuchenkova, Makarova would also be very disappointed with her form during the first month of the year. Makarova started her season in Sydney where she was beaten in the second round before squandering huge lead in her opening round match at the Australian Open against Irina-Camelia Begu. Makarova’s 3-6 6-4 8-6 loss to Begu at the Australian Open would have been a brutal defeat for the 29-year-old. Makarova suffered another big setback in the doubles event alongside Vesnina where the pair were upset in the final by Babos and Mladenovic as they tried to complete the career Grand Slam.
These two have a long history. Pavlyuchenkova holds a 6-3 head-to-head record over Makarova and has won the last two matches between the pair. Their most recent match was on clay in Marrakech last year, Pavlyuchenkova won 6-2 7-5 on route to claiming the title.