Fixture: (6) Karolina Pliskova vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Date: 2 May 2021
Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 32)
Venue: Madrid, Spain
Category: WTA 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €2,549,105
Match timing: Not before 2.30 pm local time, 6 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Karolina Pliskova vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova preview
Karolina Pliskova had to fight her way through to the second round of the 2021 Mutua Madrid Open. She was taken the distance by spirited teenager Coco Gauff on Friday, but ultimately prevailed 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.
Pliskova took some time to find her rhythm, and in the first set struggled to hit the ball past Gauff. But she got better as the match progressed, and will be feeling good about her game going into the Round of 32.
The Czech will next face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who defeated Madison Keys in straight sets.
Pavlyuchenkova managed to bag her first claycourt victory of the season by putting up a powerful display against a rusty opponent. The win would have given the Russian some much-needed confidence to make a deep run this week.
Karolina Pliskova vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova head-to-head
Karolina Pliskova leads the head-to-head against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova by a margin of 6-1. However, it was Pavlyuchenkova who emerged victorious the last time these two met on the court.
The Madrid second-rounder will be the first time these two players face each other on clay.
Karolina Pliskova vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova prediction
Karolina Pliskova enters the match as the favorite on paper, but Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova can prove to be a tough opponent - especially on clay.
Even though Pavlyuchenkova is just two clay matches old this year, she holds a decent record on the surface. The Russian also won her most recent title on clay, when she defeated Dominika Cibulkova at the Internationaux de Strasbourg in 2018.
The match on Sunday is likely to witness a lot of first-strike tennis. Pavlyuchenkova possesses big groundstrokes off both wings and is known for her aggressive approach. Pliskova, however, will have a slight edge over her opponent given her serving prowess.
The Czech is one of the biggest and most accurate servers on tour right now. That said, she did make nine double faults in the first round against Gauff, so she will be hoping to show some improvement in that area.
If Pliskova does address her double fault problem in time, she will likely have a little too much firepower for Pavlyuchenkova on Sunday.
Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to win in straight sets.