Yarra Valley Classic 2021: Tsvetana Pironkova vs Liudmila Samsonova preview, head-to-head & prediction

Tsvetana Pironkova
Tsvetana Pironkova

Match details

Fixture: Tsvetana Pironkova vs Liudmila Samsonova

Date: 31 January 2021

Tournament: Yarra Valley Classic 2021

Round: First round (Round of 64)

Venue: Melbourne, Australia

Category: WTA 500

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $565,530

Match timing: Approx. 3.30 pm local time, 10 am IST

Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel

Tsvetana Pironkova vs Liudmila Samsonova preview

Tsvetana Pironkova is all set for a rematch from last year's US Open, as the Bulgarian finds herself pitted against Russia's Liudmila Samsonova in the first round of the Yarra Valley Classic.

Pironkova will, without a doubt, be looking for a repeat of the performance from Flushing Meadows. Playing her first match there in over three years, she beat her younger opponent by a rather comfortable margin of 6-2, 6-3.

Liudmila Samsonova
Liudmila Samsonova

For the 22-year-old Samsonova, this will be a shot at course correction. The youngster ended last year on a poor note, losing the last three of her first-round encounters.

The youngster did make a final on the ITF tour though, and has started 2021 by winning three rounds of qualification matches in Dubai. A win over a confident-looking Pironkova would be just the kind of boost she needs ahead of the rest of the season.

Samsonova plays an aggressive brand of tennis, which is well-suited to hardcourts. It goes without saying that Pironkova will not be be taking this match lightly.

Tsvetana Pironkova vs Liudmila Samsonova head-to-head

Tsvetana Pironkova has beaten her opponent in their only prior meeting.
Tsvetana Pironkova has beaten her opponent in their only prior meeting.

The first round match at Flushing Meadows is the only time that the two players have faced each other, so Tsvetana Pironkova leads the head-to-head against Liudmila Samsonova by a slender 1-0 margin.

Tsvetana Pironkova vs Liudmila Samsonova prediction

Liudmila Samsonova's power-packed game came up short against Tsvetana Pironkova's signature guile in New York, but the Russian is unlikely to make too many adjustments to her style.

Samsonva will look to take control of the rallies using her big groundstrokes, but she will have to come up with answers to the variety of shots coming at her from the other side of the net. The Russian would have to try and cut down the number of unforced errors she makes, because Pironkova will only be too keen to take advantage of any free points that come her way.

The Bulgarian is a clear favorite heading into this one, even if she is likely to face a stiffer challenge this time around than she did at the US Open. If Pironkova can find a way to effectively channel her opponent's power against her, she could be well on her way to the second round.

Prediction: Tsvetana Pironkova to win in three sets.

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Edited by Musab Abid
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