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Madrid Open 2021: Karolina Pliskova vs Coco Gauff preview, head-to-head & prediction

Karolina Pliskova
Karolina Pliskova
Namit Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 29 Apr 2021
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Match details

Fixture: (6) Karolina Pliskova vs Coco Gauff

Date: 30 April 2021

Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2021

Round: First round (Round of 64)

Venue: Madrid, Spain

Category: WTA 1000

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: €2,549,105

Match timing: Approx. 5 pm local time, 8.30 pm IST

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Karolina Pliskova vs Coco Gauff preview

Karolina Pliskova comes into the Madrid Open on the back of a disappointing start to the 2021 season. She has failed to make it past the quarterfinals at any event she has played so far, and has fallen to ninth in the world rankings.

Pliskova began her clay season in Stuttgart last week, where she squandered a set and a break lead in the quarterfinals against eventual champion Ashleigh Barty. The 29-year-old has now been handed a particularly tricky first-round encounter in Madrid, against American teenager Coco Gauff.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff

Gauff has seen a steady rise in her ranking since breaking through on the WTA tour a couple of years ago. The American has had a solid start to her 2021 season too, which includes a semifinal run in Adelaide and a quarterfinal run in Dubai.

Gauff kicked off her clay season in Charleston, where she defeated the likes of Tsvetana Pironkova and Lauren Davis on her way to the quarterfinals.

Karolina Pliskova vs Coco Gauff head-to-head

The first round encounter in Madrid is the first match between Karolina Pliskova and Coco Gauff, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.

Karolina Pliskova vs Coco Gauff prediction

Karolina Pliskova is the favorite on paper for her first-round match in Madrid. However, Coco Gauff could well prove to be a nightmare opponent for the former world No. 1 this early in the tournament.

While Gauff may be a relative newcomer to the upper echelons of women's tennis, she has done plenty of fine-tuning to her game over the past year. In contrast, Pliskova is extremely short on confidence right now, and is desperately looking for some form and match sharpness.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff

Pliskova is at her best when she is blasting aces and using her big groundstrokes to dominate the exchanges. But the Czech's accuracy has gone for a toss in recent times, and against a gutsy opponent like Gauff - who will latch on to every opportunity - she can't afford any slip-ups.

The encounter promises to be an interesting one, as both players have a point to prove. But Gauff's superior movement and aggression, coupled with Pliskova's erratic play over the past few tournaments, might give the American a slight edge.

Prediction: Coco Gauff to win in three sets.

Published 27 Apr 2021
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