Fixture: Tsvetana Pironkova vs Hsieh Su-Wei
Date: 8 February 2021
Tournament: Australian Open 2021
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: AUD 80 million
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Tsvetana Pironkova vs Hsieh Su-Wei preview
The first round of the 2021 Australian Open will see two crafty players - Hsieh Su-Wei and Tsvetana Pironkova - go up against each other on Monday.
Pironkova started her season strongly, winning three qualification matches in Dubai and following that up with a third-round showing at the Yarra Valley Classic. The Bulgarian will be keen on carrying that form into the year's first Slam.
Hsieh, on the other hand, has had a mixed start to the new season. While she did upset Marketa Vondrousova in her first match, she has since suffered a couple of tough losses.
The Taiwanese's 0-6, 2-6 loss to Alison Van Uytvanck was especially jarring, and it will be interesting to see if she can manage to regroup ahead of this clash.
Hsieh has some good memories of playing in Melbourne, having reached the second week twice (most recently in 2018). She will be hoping to build on those results this year.
Tsvetana Pironkova vs Hsieh Su-wei head-to-head
Despite having played on the tour for over a decade, Tsvetana Pironkova and Hsieh Su-wei have never crossed paths before. Thus, their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Tsvetana Pironkova vs Hsieh Su-wei prediction
This is a fairly well-balanced matchup, as both women play a very similar brand of tennis. Tsvetana Pironkova and Hsieh Su-Wei will look to outsmart each other on Monday, as there's unlikely to be a lot of big hitting.
Pironkova does posses a stronger serve though, and she can also be dangerous off the backhand. It will be up to Hsieh to come up with an answer to the 33-year-old's aggression.
The outcome of the match is likely to be decided by the smallest of margins. If Hsieh isn't proactive throughout, her opponent will find a way to power through.
Prediction: Tsvetana Pironkova to win in two tight sets.