Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Jelena Jankovic, Doha R1 Preview

Qatar Total Open, ?? First Round Match Preview:
?? Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs (Q) ?? Jelena Jankovic

Tuesday’s first match on Centre Court at the Qatar Total Open features Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Jelena Jankovic. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova made a brilliant start to the season having reached the quarter-final stage at the Australian Open for the first time in her career, the Russian who is often plagued with inconsistency will be keen to maintain a high level over the next couple of weeks. Pavlyuchenkova has a great record against Jankovic but the Serb is never easy to overcome and will be better acclimatized to the conditions having won three matches in the qualifying draw.

2017 may finally be the year that Pavlyuchenkova starts to reach her potential, the Russian has the ability to push into the top 10 but a lack of confidence and inconsistency have held her back in recent times. There were signs that this will change in 2017 at the Australian Open where Pavlyuchenkova claimed a couple of big wins on route to her first quarter-final showing at the event. Although, the tournament did ultimately end in disappointment for Pavlyuchenkova with a poor showing in her quarter-final match with Venus Williams, a very winnable match. It will be interesting to see if Pavlyuchenkova can maintain a similar high level for much of the season.

Jelena Jankovic took part in the qualifying draw for a WTA event for the first time in over 10 years. It was a sign that Jankovic is still motivated to play well, an even greater sign that Jankovic was able to overcome three decent opponents to reach the main draw at the Qatar Total Open. Jankovic was down a double break in the deciding set of her first match which was against Nao Hibino, so the Serb can play with a bit of freedom this week having been so close to an early exit. Jankovic confirmed her spot in the main draw with a very tough three set win over Tsvetana Pironkova on Monday.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova holds a commanding 5-2 head-to-head record over Jelena Jankovic. The Russian has won the last two matches between the pair, including a comfortable 6-1 6-4 win in Moscow at the end of last year. I expect Pavlyuchenkova to continue her winning ways a against Jankovic, clearly this is a good match-up for Pavlyuchenkova who can stay in the rallies and has more firepower behind her groundstrokes and her serve as well as a greater desire to come forward and finish off the point.

Prediction: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to defeat Jelena Jankovic in 2 sets

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