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 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.