Wuhan R2: (8) Karolina Pliskova vs Mirjana Lucic-Baroni
Karolina Pliskova will open her Wuhan Open campaign against the dangerous Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. Karolina Pliskova will enter this match with revenge on her mind, Lucic-Baroni stunned Pliskova a couple of months ago in Toronto. This is a vitally important week for Pliskova, the Czech rising star needs to pick a couple of victories to keep her chances alive to qualify for Singapore.
Karolina started her Asian campaign last week in Tokyo, Pliskova recorded a straight set victory over Kurumi Nara in the first round before succumbing to Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets. Pliskova certainly wasn’t at her best, but Radwanska was playing some sublime tennis last week in Tokyo. Karolina has admitted that she is feeling a little fatigued at the moment after a long season. Pliskova is currently ranked 10th in the race to Singapore and remains a chance to reach her first ever WTA Finals campaign.
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni made a stunning start to the Wuhan Open on Sunday, recording a dominant 6-2 6-1 victory over Sam Stosur. It was a stunning performance by Lucic-Baroni, a reminder of what she is capable of when she is at her best. The quick conditions in Wuhan certainly seem to favour the Croatian.
The head-to-head record between Pliskova and Lucic-Baroni is split at 2 wins apiece. It was Lucic-Baroni who emerged victorious in their most recent encounter, 3-6 7-6 6-2 victory in Toronto earlier year. Pliskova was in a winning position in that match but fell apart. This is an interesting match-up between two of the biggest hitters on the tour. With a spot in Singapore on the line, Pliskova should be motivated to do well this week. Karolina should have the edge in this match-up, her serve is consistently better and she can handle Lucic-Baroni from the baseline.
Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in 3 sets