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Cincinnati 2020: Karolina Pliskova vs Veronika Kudermetova preview, head-to-head & prediction | Western & Southern Open

Karolina Pliskova at the 2020 Australian Open
Karolina Pliskova at the 2020 Australian Open
Namit Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 23 Aug 2020, 20:46 IST
Preview
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World No. 3 Karolina Pliskova will be looking to kick off the remainder of her 2020 season with a win against Veronika Kudermetova in the second round of the Western and Southern Open on Sunday. After the withdrawal of Ash Barty and Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova comes into the tournament as the top seed.

The Czech player had got off to a rocky start in 2020, failing to make it past the third round at the Australian Open, Doha or Dubai. Since the lockdown, Karolina Pliskova has been active in her home country where she competed in the 'Livescore Cup' and the Czech Elite Cup, winning five out of seven matches.

Since the resumption of the tour, Karolina Pliskova has only made one appearance - in a doubles match on clay at the Prague Open. She won that contest, before withdrawing from the next round.

Karolina Pliskova's opponent, World No. 41 Veronika Kudermetova, has had an underwhelming start to the season as well. The Kazan-based player exited early in Melbourne, Doha and Dubai.

She did feature in the singles draw at the Prague Open after the easing of lockdown restrictions, but lost to Eugenie Bouchard in the first round.

Kudermetova does, however, come into the second round match on the back of an impressive win against Ajla Tomljanovic yesterday.

Karolina Pliskova vs Veronika Kudermetova head-to-head

Veronika Kudermetova at the 2019 French Open
Veronika Kudermetova at the 2019 French Open

The meeting between the two players at the Western & Southern Open on Sunday is just their second on the tour so far. Karolina Pliskova leads the head-to-head against Veronika Kudermetova 1-0.

Their only match on tour came in the round of 16 at the Stuttgart Open back in 2018. The Czech player was in fine form that day and won the match in straight sets 7-6 6-3, not losing serve even once.

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Karolina Pliskova vs Veronika Kudermetova prediction

Karolina Pliskova at the Qatar Total Open 2020
Karolina Pliskova at the Qatar Total Open 2020

Given their rankings and history on the women's tour, it would be easy to call Pliskova the favorite for this match. However, both players have been in similar form in 2020, and Kudermetova has already played a match in New York.

Pliskova will approach the game in her trademark all-or-nothing style, and look to get into full flow ahead of the US Open. Kudermetova on her part will have to rise to the occasion and return serve consistently if she wants to cause Pliskova some problems.

Although she showed positive signs against Tomljanovic, Kudermetova's recent form has been erratic. And when pitted against one of the best servers on tour, she would have her task cut out.

Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to win in straight sets.

Match details

Tournament: Western & Southern Open 2020

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA

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Category: WTA Premier 5

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $1,950,079

Match timing: 4.15 pm EDT, 1.45 am IST

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN

Published 23 Aug 2020, 16:12 IST
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