Rome R1: (11) Karolina Pliskova vs Timea Bacsinszky
Karolina Pliskova and Timea Bacsinszky will both be looking to bounce back after early round exits in Madrid last week when they go head to head in the first round of the Internazionali BNL D’Italia.
Karolina Pliskova continues to impress in 2015, making a solid start to the clay court season. Pliskova won her first title of the year in Prague, coming from a set down in three of her matches. However Pliskova arrives in Rome on the back of a disappointing 2-6 6-4 1-6 second round loss to Caroline Garcia.
Timea Bacsinszky has been equally impressive in 2015, already amassing 21 victories including two international level titles. However Timea is yet to get going on the red dirt, suffering a surprise quarterfinal loss in Marrakech to Schmiedlova before being comprehensively outplayed by Maria Sharapova in a 2-6 3-6 opening round loss in Madrid.
This will be the second career meeting between the pair. It was Timea who won their only previous encounter, a 7-5 6-4 victory in Montreal last year. Karolina should be able to reverse that result in Rome.
Pliskova certainly has the ability to overpower Timea, the result will depend on how well she can execute her game. Although clay may favour Timea, it will not be a big enough advantage to get her over the line. Pliskova seems to be better prepared, having already won a tournament on clay, coming through numerous tough battles.
Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Timea Bacsinszky in 2 sets