Fixture: (2) Karolina Pliskova vs (Q) Anna Blinkova
Date: 18 September 2020
Tournament: Italian Open 2020
Round: Third round (Round of 16)
Venue: Rome, Italy
Category: WTA Premier 5
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €1,771,082
Match timing: 11 am CEST, 2:30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN
Karolina Pliskova vs Anna Blinkova preview
Defending champion Karolina Pliskova will look to extend her winning streak at the Italian Open when she takes on Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova in the third round on Friday.
Clay might not be the former World No. 1's favorite surface, but that hasn't affected her smooth transition from hardcourt to the red dirt. Having crashed out in the second round of the US Open, Karolina Pliskova has quickly got back to business in the very next tournament.
The second seed breezed through her opening match in Rome with a quickfire 6-3, 6-3 win over compatriot Barbora Strycova that took just 1 hour 15 minutes to complete. Pliskova was able to convert four out of six break points and she dropped serve just once in a spectacular display of aggressive shot-making.
2015 Wimbledon girls' singles runner-up Anna Blinkova hasn't had much success on the senior tour in singles. However, the 22-year-old has enjoyed considerable success in doubles this year.
Blinkova has reached three semifinals with different partners in 2020, and has climbed to a career-high No. 45 in doubles.
In contrast, she has a shabby 7-9 win-loss record for the year in singles, and entered this WTA Premier 5 event on the back of a three-match losing streak.
Karolina Pliskova vs Anna Blinkova head-to-head
Karolina Pliskova and Anna Blinkova have met just once before, with Pliskova leading the head-to-head 1-0.
The Czech thoroughly dominated their match in the 2017 Australian Open second round, dropping just two games to record a commanding 6-0, 6-2 win.
Karolina Pliskova vs Anna Blinkova prediction
If their earlier face-off is any indication, then Karolina Pliskova has a huge edge in their impending clash in the Italian capital. Moreover, the World No. 4 seems to have picked up where she left off in Rome last year, as evident from her opening-round performance.
Not only will Pliskova have more confidence heading into this showdown, she is also the fresher of the two.
Anna Blinkova has already played three matches in Rome, starting from the qualifying stages. She also battled for 2 hours 23 minutes on court to subdue the challenge of fellow qualifier Aliona Bolsova in the second round, which might take a toll on the youngster in the match on Friday.
Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to win in straight sets.Published 18 Sep 2020, 00:35 IST