Fixture: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Ajla Tomljanovic
Date: 15 February 2021
Tournament: Phillip Island Trophy 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 32)
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Category: WTA 250
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $235,238
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Ajla Tomljanovic preview
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will look to move on from her Australian Open disappointment as she starts her 2021 Phillip Island Trophy campaign with a second-round match against home favorite Ajla Tomljanovic.
Pavlyuchenkova lost her opening match at Melbourne Park to an on-song Naomi Osaka. The defeat ended her her streak of quarterfinal finishes at the year's first Slam, and she will now be keen on getting back to winning ways.
Tomljanovic also ended her Australian Open campaign with a heartbreaking loss. The Aussie went down to Simona Halep, blowing a 5-2 lead in the decider before eventually losing 6-4, 4-6, 5-7.
But Tomljanovic was quick to bounce back, registering a 6-4, 6-3 win over countrywoman Lizette Carbrera in the Round of 16 here at the season's first WTA 250 event.
Tomljanovic hasn't always had the best results on her home soil, despite having a game that's well-suited to the courts in Australia. But she did exhibit a lot of fighting skills in her three-set loss to Halep, and will look to build on that.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Ajla Tomljanovic head-to-head
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova leads Ajla Tomljanovic in the head-to-head by a 1-0 margin. The Russian won the duo's only prior meeting, which came on the harcourts of Moscow.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Ajla Tomljanovic prediction
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova enters this contest as the heavy favorite, despite her relatively poor start to the new season.
The Russian has made a habit of getting a lot of match wins during the season opening tournaments in Australia. And while difficult draws have stopped her from doing that this year, she definitely has the game to turn over a new leaf.
Ajla Tomljanovic will have to watch out for her opponent's big serving and front court game. Pavlyuchenkova can also deal a lot of damage from the baseline, especially when she is given extra time to hit the ball.
Tomljanovic will have to take an aggressive stance herself and look to keep her opponent on the run if she hopes to get something out of this match.
Both women have a lot to play for, especially after the tough losses last week. But the match remains Pavlyuchenkova's for the taking, and it will take a strong effort from the Aussie to cause an upset here.
Prediction: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to win in two tight sets.