Karolina Pliskova vs Jelena Ostapenko, Australian Open R3 Preview

Australian Open, ?? Third Round Match preview
(5) ?? Karolina Pliskova vs ?? Jelena Ostapenko

Karolina Pliskova has strolled through her opening two matches at Melbourne Park, dropping a combined four games. There is a lot of talk about Pliskova potentially winning the title in Melbourne and being a big contender at all of the Grand Slams in 2017. However, I believe Pliskova still has a lot to prove, the Czech is still yet to reach the second week in Melbourne, that will be her main focus at the moment. Pliskova should face her toughest challenge of the tournament thus far when she takes on Jelena Ostapenko on Saturday.

Karolina Pliskova is arguably the form player on the WTA tour at this moment. Pliskova arrived in Melbourne on the back of winning the title at the Brisbane International where she played some outstanding tennis. Pliskova has been straight back to business in Melbourne, comfortably accounting for her first couple of opponents. Pliskova started the week with a 6-2 6-0 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo before crushing Ana Blinkova 6-0 6-2.

Jelena Ostapenko had a terrible record at Grand Slams in 2016, losing in the opening round on each occasion. Therefore, it will be a relief for the Latvian to have made it through to the third round in Melbourne. Ostapenko has also cruised through her first few matches at Melbourne Park, starting with a 6-4 6-0 win over Lin Zhu, followed by an impressive 6-3 6-1 demolition of Yulia Putintseva.

Karolina Pliskova won the only previous meeting between the pair, a 6-4 6-1 win at Cincinnati last year. Pliskova will head into this match as an overwhelming favourite and will be expecting another comfortable with over the Latvian. However, I think this is a danger match for Pliskova. If complacency sets in, she could be in trouble because Ostapenko is playing well and is a very dangerous opponent when she in form. Ostapenko will head into this match with nothing to lose, all the pressure is on Pliskova. Pliskova’s far superior serve and consistency should see her through, but there could be some struggles in between.

Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Jelena Ostapenko in 3 sets


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