Petra Kvitova will get her 2020 season underway by renewing an age-old rivalry with Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The two women are set to clash in the first round of the 2020 Brisbane International for the 12th time in their careers.
Kvitova leads the head-to-head 7-4 with the first victory coming way back in 2009. Whenever these two women have played, it has been an highly competitive tennis on the showcase.
It should be no different this time either when the two step out on Stadium Court at the Queensland Tennis Centre tomorrow, with both having come off of decent seasons in 2019 that hold them in good stead for a solid start to this year.
Pavlyuchenkova has never been the most consistent player on the tour with some impressive high and some very volatile lows in the past few years.
However, she looked to be getting back towards the elite group in the latter half of 2019, with a few big quarter-finals appearances to her name. She, in fact, beat Kvitova to reach one at the Wuhan Open in September, where she was in touching distance for another big upset again Ashleigh Barty.
While she would be looking to go ahead and get some more wins early in 2020, Pavlyuchenkova will have to be wary of a very dangerous Kvitova.
Kvitova has had notoriously good starts to he past few seasons and the Czech, if well rested and free of injury troubles, will be hard to stop.
On the days that Kvitova finds her range on her groundstrokes, she is more than capable of bulldozing her way through any opponent.
Pavlyuchenkova might have to play catch up during a lot of those baselines exchanges, but of she can hang around long enough to frustrate Kvitova into committing a few errors, she stands a good chance of getting close to win backed by her own strengths as a great back court player.
Prediction: Kvitova to win in two tight sets.Published 06 Jan 2020, 23:24 IST