Karolina Pliskova vs Yulia Putintseva, Miami R3 Preview

Miami Open, ???? R3 Match Preview
(2) ?? Karolina Pliskova vs (27) ?? Yulia Putintseva

An intriguing third round clash at the Miami Open sees Karolina Pliskova take on Yulia Putintseva, a match-up that features a huge contrast in styles and characters. Karolina Pliskova towers over Putintseva, literally. The second seed has the big weapons at her disposal and a reassuring calm attitude. Whilst Putintseva has some of the best defensive skills on tour and one of the most volatile attitudes. All makes for an interesting match.

Karolina Pliskova has been the most consistent player on tour throughout 2017. Pliskova has already won two premier level titles in 2017 and reached the Australian Open quarter-finals. The world number 3 was not at her best last week in Indian Wells but still managed to fight her way in the semi-finals, a good sign for Pliskova. Karolina was eliminated in her first round match last year in Miami so there is an opportunity for Pliskova to move close to the world number 1 ranking over the next couple of weeks. Pliskova made a strong start to the tournament, thrashing Madison Brengle 6-1 6-3.

Yulia Putintseva played some of the best tennis of her career last month in St. Petersburg where she reached her first tour level final, beating Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dominika Cibulkova on route to the final. However, Yulia’s form has cooled off since then, arriving in Miami on the back of consecutive first round losses including a very disappointing straight set loss to Pauline Parmentier in Indian Wells. Yulia showed signs of a form reversal in her opening match in Miami, the Kazakh battled past Carina Witthoeft 6-4 6-4 to set up a clash with Pliskova.

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Pliskova dominated Putintseva in their only previous tour level meeting, a comprehensive 6-3 6-1 win in the opening round of the Brisbane International earlier this year. Pliskova was simply too powerful for Putintseva on that occasion, there wasn’t much Putintseva could do to get into the match. I suspect this third round clash in Miami will be much more competitive given the far heavier conditions in Miami and the much slower surface. If Pliskova has a poor serving day, there is an opportunity for Putintseva` to get into extended rallies and potentially make this match competitive. I think this could be a potential upset but Pliskova may just sneak through.

Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Yulia Putintseva in 3 sets

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