Tokyo R2: Kurumi Nara vs (4) Karolina Pliskova
Karolina Pliskova will open her 2015 Toray Pan Pacific Open campaign with a second round clash against Kurumi Nara. Pliskova suffered a humiliating first round exit in New York and will be looking to rebound during the Asian swing as she attempts to reach the WTA Finals for the first time in her career.
Kurumi Nara advanced to the second round in Tokyo courtesy of a 7-6 6-1 victory over compatriot Misaki Doi. The Japanese number 1 has struggled in recent months, Nara hasn’t won back-to-back matches since Nuremburg and has won back-to-back matches on just three occasions in 2015. Nara is the only remaining Japanese player in the draw and will have the home crowd on her side for the rest of the week.
Karolina Pliskova’s North American summer started perfectly when she reached the final in Stanford, however it ultimately ended in disastrous fashion when she suffered a shock first round loss to Anna Tatishvili. Nevertheless, this has been the best season of Karolina’s career and she will be hoping to top it off with her first ever appearance at the WTA Finals. Karolina is currently ranked 9th on the Road to Singapore so she will need to perform well over the next couple of weeks if she is to qualify for Singapore.
The head-to-head record between Nara and Pliskova is level at one win apiece. It was Pliskova who emerged victorious in their most recent encounter, a 6-4 7-5 victory in Beijing in 2013. Pliskova should once again have the edge on Thursday, Pliskova’s big game has the ability to overwhelm Nara. The difference in height and power between these two is extreme, Pliskova will need to have a very bad day to lose this.