Karolina Pliskova vs Natalia Vikhlyantseva, Cincinnati R2 Preview

Western & Southern Open, ??? Cincinnati R2 Preview + Prediction
(1) ?? Karolina Pliskova vs (LL) ?? Natalia Vikhlyantseva

World number 1, Karolina Pliskova will begin her 2017 Western & Southern Open campaign on Wednesday night when she comes up against Russian lucky-loser Natalia Vikhlyantseva. Pliskova is the defending champion in Cincinnati this week and will be hoping for another strong tournament before heading to New York where she will be aiming to claim her first Grand Slam title. After receiving a bye through to the second round, Pliskova will start as a strong favourite when she comes up against Vikhlyantseva in her first match of the tournament.

Karolina Pliskova had a decent week in Toronto where she competed as the world number 1 for the first time. Pliskova made it to the quarter-final stage before succumbing to Caroline Wozniacki in a tight three set encounter. Natalia Vikhlyantseva lost in the final round of qualifying to Francoise Abanda, the Russian received a lucky-loser position into the main draw and made the most of it as she defeated Donna Vekic 6-3 2-6 6-3 to set up a second round encounter with the world number 1.

This looms as a comfortable win for Pliskova. The conditions in Cincinnati suit Pliskova perfectly, the ball fly’s which makes Pliskova’s big weapons even more dangerous. Vikhlyantseva is not established at this level and it will be a very new situation for her being on a big stage against the current world number 1. Expect Pliskova to begin her title defense with a solid victory here.

Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Natalia Vikhlyantseva in 2 sets

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