Fixture: Tsvetana Pironkova vs Donna Vekic
Date: 5 September 2020
Tournament: US Open 2020
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $39,024,000
Match timing: Not before 3 pm EDT, 12.30 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Tsvetana Pironkova vs Donna Vekic preview
Tsvetana Pironkova continued her dream comeback run on Thursday, taking out 10th seed Garbine Muguruza in her second round match at the US Open.
The Bulgarian looked to be in trouble early in the match, having to defend against a barrage of groundstrokes from an on-song Muguruza. But she managed to flip a switch in the 10th game, going on the offensive to put pressure on the Spaniard.
Pironkova stole the set a with a couple of splendid backhand winners two games later.
The 32-year-old carried the momentum into the next set, taking on the role of the aggressor and forcing Muguruza to play catch up. The result was never really in doubt after that.
Next up for Pironkova is the 21st seed Donna Vekic - who came through an easy win in the last round herself.
The young Croat has been on the rise the last couple of years, with a breakthrough at a Major being the only thing missing. But with the exit of the top seed in her section, she must be sensing an opportunity here.
Vekic enjoys playing on quick courts and has a powerful baseline game that can trouble even the best. That is what makes her poor past performances in New York even more baffling.
Getting over this mental block against a seasoned campaigner like Pironkova will not be easy for Vekic.
Tsvetana Pironkova vs Donna Vekic head-to-head
Tsvetana Pironkova leads the duo's head-to-head with a comfortable 3-0 margin. Their last meeting came way back at the 2016 San Antonio Open, with the Bulgarian scoring a decisive win while dropping just three games.
But it goes without saying that Donna Vekic has made marked improvements since that loss. And if the past few matches are anything to go by, she is enjoying the quick New York courts just as much as Pironkova.
Tsvetana Pironkova vs Donna Vekic prediction
The courts here in New York will likely play into Tsvetana Pironkova's favor more than her opponent. The Bulgarian has been timing the ball perfectly here and has been nearly unstoppable on serve; she dropped just two points behind her first serve against Muguruza all match.
Donna Vekic has had her moments here too, but her return of serve would have to be at its sharpest to put pressure on Pironkova. The Bulgarian is running high on confidence, and Vekic will need to pull out something special to stop her surge.
Prediction: Tsvetana Pironkova to win in two tight sets.Published 05 Sep 2020, 02:58 IST