Create

US Open 2021: Daria Kasatkina vs Tsvetana Pironkova preview, head-to-head & prediction

Daria Kasatkina has won two WTA titles this season.
Daria Kasatkina has won two WTA titles this season.

Match details

Fixture: (25) Daria Kasatkina vs Tsvetana Pironkova

Date: 30 August 2021

Tournament: US Open 2021

Round: First round (Round of 128)

Venue: New York, United States

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $40,560,000

Match timing: Approx. 5 pm local time, 9 pm GMT, 2.30 am IST

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - BBC TV & Radio | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP

Daria Kasatkina vs Tsvetana Pironkova preview

Two of the tour's most versatile players - Daria Kasatkina and Tsvetana Pironkova - will face off in an intriguing first-round encounter at the 2021 US Open on Monday.

Kasatkina has been a top performer this season, having already captured two WTA titles. The Russian also scored wins over a few big names enroute to the final at the Silicon Valley Classic earlier this month, but has since suffered a couple of early exits.

Pitted against a tricky opponent in the form of Pironkova right off the bat, Kasatkina will have very little time to rediscover her form.

Tsvetana Pironkova reached the quarterfinals at the US Open last year.
Tsvetana Pironkova reached the quarterfinals at the US Open last year.

Pironkova reached the quarterfinals of the 2020 US Open, which was her first tournament back after a three-year-long maternity break. The Bulgarian scored big wins over the likes of Garbine Muguruza and Donna Vekic before pushing Serena Williams to three sets in the last eight.

Pironkova has only played sporadically since, but has had a few good showings - including wins over Vekic and Marta Kostyuk - on hardcourts this season.

Daria Kasatkina vs Tsvetana Pironkova head-to-head

Tsvetana Pironkova leads Daria Kasatkina in their current head-to-head with a 1-0 margin. The Bulgarian dropped just two games in the duo's only prior meeting, which came at the 2016 Western & Southern Open.

Daria Kasatkina vs Tsvetana Pironkova prediction

Daria Kasatkina hasn't always done well on the American hardcourts.
Daria Kasatkina hasn't always done well on the American hardcourts.

Given her form in the 2021 season, Daria Kasatkina will enter this contest as the favorite on paper. That said, the Russian's topspin-heavy groundstrokes haven't always worked well on the American hardcourts.

Tsvetana Pironkova, on the contrary, enjoys the conditions in New York. The Bulgarian's naturally low-bouncing groundstrokes are bound to benefit from the quicker courts, and she could certainly trouble Kasatkina on Monday.

Pironkova will look to be the aggressor in this match, given the sort of success she had going after her shots last year. The 33-year-old averaged a 77% win percentage on the first serve and 71% on the second serve return in 2020, the 11th and fifth highest respectively amongst the field.

First-serve numbers will be key for both players, as neither would want to give their opponent too many opportunities to break. Kasatkina, in particular, has struggled to win points behind the second serve of late.

The Russian has also given away a few too many cheap points in recent matches, and has been wasteful with break points. She will need to turn in an improved performance against Pironkova, who would be sensing another opportunity at staging a big upset here.

Prediction: Tsvetana Pironkova to win in two tight sets.

Quick Links

Edited by Musab Abid
1 comment