Garbine Muguruza vs. Kristyna Pliskova, Roland Garros R2 Preview

??? Roland Garros, R2 preview + prediction:
?? (11) Garbine Muguruza vs. ?? Kristyna Pliskova

Garbine Muguruza and Kristyna Pliskova will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the second round of the French Open. Muguruza looms as one of the main contenders in Paris, the 2016 Roland Garros champion has generally had an impressive season and is always especially tough to beat on the red dirt in Paris.

Garbine Muguruza has a superb record at Roland Garros. The 26-year-old has reached at least the fourth round stage in Paris in each of her last 6 appearances, a streak which includes her triumph in 2016, a semi-final showing in 2018 and further 2 quarter-final runs. Muguruza came through an extremely tough opening round match to begin her 2020 campaign, a hard-fought 7-5 4-6 8-6 victory over Tamara Zidansek. The Spaniard will be hoping for a more straightforward victory against the big serving Czech.

Kristyna Pliskova claimed her first ever main draw victory at Roland Garros when she thrashed Viktoria Kuzmova 6-1 6-2, a big win for Pliskova given she had previously stumbled at the opening round stage in Paris on 5 occasions. Clay isn’t Pliskova’s best surface, but she is always a threat if she serves at her best.

I expect Muguruza to win this match quite comfortably. This is a good match-up for Muguruza on a clay court, especially in the heavy conditions in Paris this year. Muguruza has the game to take care of her own serve in this match-up then put pressure on the Pliskova serve. The slow conditions mean Muguruza will be able to return a lot of serves compared to a quicker surface. Muguruza’s heavier shots mean she will be able to dictate from the baseline more often than not, this spells trouble for Pliskova who won’t be very effective in defensive positions.

Prediction: Garbine Muguruza to defeat Kristyna Pliskova in 2 sets

Elise Mertens vs. Kristyna Pliskova, Prague SF Preview

??⬛ Prague Open – SF Preview + Prediction
?? (3) Elise Mertens vs. ?? Kristyna Pliskova

The first spot in the 2020 Prague Open final will be up for grabs when the third seeded Elise Mertens comes up against Kristyna Pliskova. Mertens won the first couple of matches between the pair in straight sets and is favourite to continue that trend in Prague.

Elise Mertens of Belgium in action during the quarter-finals of the 2020 Prague Open WTA International tennis tournament

Elise Mertens has responded well to her opening round exit in Palermo last week to reach the final 4 in Prague. The Belgian started the week with a hard-fought 7-5 4-6 6-3 win over Jasmine Paolini. Mertens produced her best performance of the week in the second round with a 6-4 6-2 win over Camila Giorgi. Mertens secured her spot in the semi-finals with a 6-4 1-6 6-4 victory over an in-form Eugenie Bouchard.

It has been a strange week for Kristyna Pliskova, she has been extremely lucky to reach the final 4. Pliskova started the week with a 6-2 7-5 win over Linda Fruhvirtova before defeating the second seeded Petra Martic 6-1 7-5. Martic was injured in that match and offered very little resistance, Pliskova again benefited from an injured opponent in the next round as Ana Bogdan retired in the opening set whilst leading by a double break.

Mertens holds a perfect 2-0 record over Pliskova. Both victories came on a hard court in 2019, a 6-2 7-6 win in Doha followed by a 6-2 6-2 win at the US Open.

Expect Mertens to be far too solid for Pliskova here. Mertens has fantastic movement and a very solid backhand, making her a nightmare match-up for Pliskova on a clay court. Pliskova’s lefty patterns will be covered well by the Mertens backhand and movement. Pliskova will find it very hard to hit through Mertens, whilst Mertens will be able to spread the court and expose the poor movement of Pliskova.

Prediction: Elise Mertens to defeat Kristyna Pliskova in 2 sets

Sara Errani vs. Kristyna Pliskova, Palermo R2 Preview

??☀️ Palermo Ladies Open – R2 Preview + Prediction
?? (wc) Sara Errani vs. ?? Kristyna Pliskova

An interesting second round clash at the Palermo Ladies Open sees Sara Errani come up against Kristyna Pliskova in a match-up that features a huge contrast in styles. The consistent, grinding game of Errani against the big serving Pliskova.

Sara Errani of Italy in action during the first round at the 2020 Palermo Ladies Open WTA International tennis tournament

Errani advanced to the second round in Palermo with a typically gutsy win. The veteran Italian outlasted Sorana Cirstea to claim a 7/5 1/6 6/4 victory. Errani seemed to be struggling physically towards to the end of her match with the Romanian but somehow managed to dig deep, raising her level just when she needed to in order to secure an important win. Importantly Errani seems to have improved her terribly vulnerable serve, Errani served only a couple of double faults in her win over Cirstea and didn’t serve underarm.

Pliskova caused the biggest upset of the tournament thus far when she defeated the third seeded Maria Sakkari in straight sets, a surprisingly easy 6/4 6/4 win. Pliskova’s biggest weapon was firing in her win of Sakkari, her serve, Pliskova went through the match without dropping serve and consistently came up big under pressure. Pliskova won a whopping 81% of points behind her first serve.

This will be the first career meeting between the pair.

I’m fascinated to see how this match-up pans out. I’ll give the slight edge to Errani, I think the Italian will be smart enough to get the better of Pliskova on a clay court. Pliskova was awesome in the first round but the chances of her repeating that level here are low, anything other than her best won’t get the job done against Errani on a clay court. Errani showed great signs herself in the first round and will fancy her chances here. Expect the consistency and versatility of Errani to be the undoing on Pliskova.

Prediction: Sara Errani to defeat Kristyna Pliskova in 3 sets

Maria Sakkari vs. Kristyna Pliskova, Palermo R1 Preview

??☀️ Palermo Ladies Open – R1 Preview + Prediction
?? (3) Maria Sakkari vs. ?? Kristyna Pliskova

The third seeded Maria Sakkari begins her 2020 Palermo Ladies Open campaign against the big serving Kristyna Pliskova.

Maria Sakkari of Greece during practice at the 2020 Palermo Ladies Open WTA International tennis tournament

Sakkari stands out as the one of the main challengers to win the title in Palermo but will potentially have to overcome some rust in her game given she hasn’t played a competitive match in over 4 months. Pliskova on the other hand has competed in several exhibition events in the Czech Republic during the official tour’s shutdown. Pliskova’s results during those events were generally unremarkable as she won just 50% of her matches and she is never very comfortable on clay.

Sakkari triumphed in the only previous meeting between the pair, a 6/7 6/4 6/4 victory for the Greek player at Wimbledon in 2017, a notable victory for Sakkari on a surface that should favour Pliskova,

This is a match-up that will generally suit Sakkari, especially on a clay court. Once Sakkari can neutralize the Pliskova serve she will have a distinct advantage from the baseline thanks to her far superior stamina and consistency. Sakkari should get into enough rallies to advance to the second round without too many issues.

Prediction: Maria Sakkari to defeat Kristina Pliskova in 2 sets

Kristyna Pliskova vs. Serena Williams, Roland Garros R1 Preview

Roland Garros, R1 Preview
?? Kristyna Pliskova vs. ?? Serena Williams

Serena Williams will make her first appearance at a Grand Slam event since winning the 2017 Australian Open title when she takes on Kristina Pliskova in the opening round in Paris. Serena has played minimal tennis since that amazing triumph, the 23-time Grand Slam champion will be competing in the main draw at Roland Garros for the first time since a runner-up showing in 2016.

Serena Williams of the United States practices at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Kristyna Pliskova’s form in the lead up to Paris has been surprisingly impressive. Pliskova reached the quarter-finals in Prague and Nuremburg whilst she came through the qualifying draw to reach the third round in Madrid. Clay is considered Pliskova’s least preferred surface but clearly she is competent on the surface.

Serena Williams made her much anticipated return to the tour earlier this year during the sunshine double. Serena’s form was decent but she was clearly rusty and not close to her best. Serena won a couple of matches in Indian Wells before succumbing to Venus in the third round, A week later Serena was beaten in the opening round in Miami by Naomi Osaka in straight sets. A few months later It will be fascinating to see what type of level Serena can bring to the courts at Roland Garros.

This will be the first career meeting between the pair, can Pliskova cause a big upset?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Mihaela Buzarnescu vs. Kristyna Pliskova, Prague QF Preview

J&T Banka Prague Open, QF Preview
?? (7) Mihaela Buzarnescu vs. ?? Kristyna Pliskova

The 7th seeded Mihaela Buzarnescu takes on local favourite Kristyna Pliskova at the quarter-final stage of the Prague Open on Thursday. This will be the first career meeting between Buzarnescu and Pliskova, a pair of lefties with contrasting games. This is a huge opportunity for both ladies to reach a rare semi-final at the WTA tour level, who will step up and make the most of this chance?

Mihaela Buzarnescu’s form has not been great of late. The Romanian’s run to the quarter-finals this week in Prague is the first time she has won back-to-back matches since Doha almost 3 months ago and only the third time in 2018 that she has managed to win more than 1 match at a single tournament. Buzarnescu’s wins this week have followed a similar path, a comfortable opening set followed by a challenging second set, a 6-1 7-5 win over Beatriz Haddad Maia and a 6-0 7-6 win over Antonia Lottner. Lottner did serve for the second set at 5-4 and was ahead 40-15 so it was a great effort by the Romanian to close out her second round match in straight sets.

Clay is not a surface that one would expect Kristyna Pliskova to thrive on, however Pliskova is having a good week on the clay in Prague for a second year in a row. Pliskova came agonizingly close to winning the title in Prague last year where she was overrun by Mona Barthel in the final, Pliskova has now put herself in a position to contend for the title once again. Pliskova has beaten a pair of solid opponents to reach her second quarter-final of the year, a 7-6 6-3 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich and a 6-2 7-6 win over Qiang Wang.

It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out in what will be the first career meeting between the pair.

To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here

Karolina Pliskova vs. Kristyna Pliskova, Prague R1 Preview

J&T Banka Prague Open, R1 Preview
?? (1) Karolina Pliskova vs. ?? Kristyna Pliskova

The Pliskova twins will go head-to-head for the first time since 2013 when they meet at the opening round stage in Prague. It is Karolina who enters this clash on a high fresh off winning the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. Whilst the locals will be looking forward to this clash, the Pliskova’s certainly are not, this will be an awkward encounter as both have indicated that they do not like this match-up. Both have had previous success in Prague, Karolina won the event in 2015 whilst Kristyna was the runner-up in 2017.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in action during the final of the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Karolina Pliskova made the ideal start to her 2018 clay court season by claiming her 10th title as she won in Stuttgart, her biggest title on a clay court. The highlight of Pliskova’s week in Stuttgart was her strong serving, Pliskova served 52 aces which was the most aces anyone has served in 1 tournmant in 2018. It was a tough week for Pliskova, she was forced to beat 4 top 30 opponents on route to the title, a 7-6 6-4 win over CoCo Vandeweghe in the final secured her first title of the year.

Kristyna Pliskova also made a good start to her 2018 clay court season a few weeks ago where she claimed a couple of big wins on route to the quarter-final stage in Charleston. Kristyna claimed 3 upset wins in a row in Charleston, beating Katerina Siniakova, Petra Kvitova and Elena Vesnina to reach the quarter-finals before succumbing to Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets. More recently Kristyna suffered a straight set loss at the hands of Camila Giorgi in Lugano.

It is Karolina who holds a slight 5-4 H2H record over Kristyna. The pair have only met on one occasion at the WTA level, a 7-6 3-6 6-3 win for Kristyna on grass in Eastbourne way back in 2013. Clearly it is Karolina who has been the far better player over the last few years but in a match-up with little margin, an upset is still a possibility.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Magdalena Rybarikova vs Kristyna Pliskova, U.S Open R2 Preview

US Open, ????? R2 Preview + Prediction
(31) ?? Magdalena Rybarikova vs ?? Kristyna Pliskova

The 31st seeded Magdalena Rybarikova will face a tough task in the second round at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday as she comes up against the big-serving Kristyna Pliskova. Rybarikova and Pliskova both cruised through their opening round matches on Monday. Rybarikova navigated her way past the always-dangerous Camila Giorgi 6-3 6-4 whilst Pliskova comfortably accounted for Misa Eguchi with a 6-2 6-2 win. This will be the first career meeting between Rybarikova and Pliskova, this should be entertaining match-up between two very contrasting types of competitors.

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Angelique Kerber vs Kristyna Pliskova, Eastbourne R2 Preview

Aegon International, ?? Eastbourne R2 Preview
(1) ?? Angelique Kerber vs ?? Kristyna Pliskova

Angelique Kerber will finally begin her grass court campaign on Tuesday with a potentially tricky second round clash against big serving Czech, Kristyna Pliskova. Kerber was forced to postpone the start to her grass court season by a few weeks due to a hamstring injury. The world number 1 will look to start to build some much needed momentum in Eastbourne before Wimbledon where the German is the defending finalist. Kristyna Pliskova is playing well at the moment and will make life hard for Kerber.

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Dominika Cibulkova vs Kristyna Pliskova, Indian Wells R3 Preview

BNP Paribas Open, ??? Indian Wells, R3 Match Preview
(5) ?? Dominika Cibulkova vs ?? Kristyna Pliskova

Dominika Cibulkova faces a unique challenge on Sunday when she comes up against the big-serving Kristyna Pliskova. Cibulkova will be wary of Pliskova who is starting to make a name for herself after living in the shadow of twin sister Karolina Pliskova in recent years. Kristyna has had a couple of notable wins in recent times and is always a dangerous opponent because she can take care of her service games with ease when playing at her best. Cibulkova is one of the best returners in on tour, so this will be an interesting first time encounter between the pair.

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