Fixture: Coco Gauff vs Tsvetana Pironkova
Date: 6 April 2021
Tournament: Volvo Car Open 2021
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Charleston, United States
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Green clay
Prize money: $823,000
Match timing: Approx. 8 pm local time, 5.30 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Europsort
Coco Gauff vs Tsvetana Pironkova preview
The first round of the 2021 Charleston Open will see the 14th-seeded Coco Gauff take on Tsvetana Pironkova in an intriguing clash on Tuesday.
Gauff, who is making her debut at the tournament, has landed in the packed bottom half of the draw. The teenager will have very little time to make the adjustment from the quicker hardcourts - the surface where she is at her most comfortable.
Pironkova, meanwhile, will look to continue her run of good form into the clay season. She came close to a first top-10 win since her return as she held match point against Aryna Sabalenka in Miami. While the Bulgarian went on lose that encounter in a third-set tiebreaker, she still had plenty to take away from her showing.
Pironkova has managed to hold her own in most of her matches this year, and is now on the cusp of re-entering the top 100. An upset win here in the first round would only come as a shot in the arm for the crafty 33-year-old.
Coco Gauff vs Tsvetana Pironkova head-to-head
This is set to be the first career meeting between Coco Gauff and Tsvetana Pironkova, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Coco Gauff vs Tsvetana Pironkova prediction
The gap in the rankings notwithstanding, this could well end up being a close affair. Coco Gauff will definitely look to take on the role of the aggressor, using her powerful serve and groundstrokes, but she will have be wary of her opponent's court craft.
Tsvetana Pironkova is a master at using her opponents' pace against them. She also has her own set of weapons in the form of a strong serve and backhand, and will need to put them to good use in this matchup.
Neither women enjoys playing on slower surfaces, and so the result would come down to whoever is able to make the necessary adjustments quicker. Gauff, in particular, will need to work on her variety, as feeding Pironkova pace on every ball might just come back to haunt her in the end.
Prediction: Tsvetana Pironkova to win in two tight sets.