Match Preview: Karolina Pliskova v Coco Vandeweghe

For tomorrows second night match in Stuttgart two players, Karolina Pliskova and Coco Vandeweghe, who haven’t done to well on the clay in their careers are matching up. Vandeweghe got through her first round match in straight sets and this is Pliskova’s first match of the tournament after receiving a bye into the second round. Karolina Pliskova is entering this match against Coco Vandeweghe as the favourite to get the win.

Recent Form

Karolina Pliskova is top on the Road to Singapore right now and that shows how well she has been playing. After the Australian Open, she won her first tournament back in Doha, which is a Premier level event, with a run that included wins over Dominika Cibulkova and Caroline Wozniacki. She lost in the second round of Dubai the week after Doha to Kristina Mladenovic but quickly shook that off as she reached the semifinals of her next tournament, which was the Premier 5 level BNP Paribas Open, before falling Svetlana Kuznetsova. She reached her second straight semifinal the week after at the Premier Mandatory event in Miami before falling to Caroline Wozniacki. Coco Vandeweghe hasn’t had a good time recently as she hadn’t won a main draw match since the Australian Open before the beginning of Stuttgart. She lost in the first round of Dubai to Alison Riske, she lost the second round of Indian Wells to Lucie Safarova and then she lost second round of Miami to Jana Cepelova. I don’t think either player will be thinking about their recent form nor will it have an effect on the match because the tour has now moved on to a different surface.

Stuttgart Record

Karolina Pliskova has only ever played this event once before, which was last year in 2016. She reached the quarterfinals before falling to Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets but she did get some good wins that year as well. She won her first round over Lucie Safarova in three sets and then her second round over Ana Ivanovic in straight sets. That shows that she can play well on clay seeing that she beat one former French Open champion and one former French Open finalist. It also means that she has a few points to defend but not too many that she will feel pressure to perform well. Coco Vandeweghe is playing the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix for the first time in her young career this year.

Head To Head Record

These two have played each other three times in their careers and Coco Vandewghe is the leader of their head to head by 2-1 matches. They have never played on clay so it will be a new experience for their low-key rivalry tonight. They have played twice on the hard court and from those courts their record is at 1-1 as Pliskova won their first match in the second round of 2013 Miami qualifying 6-2, 6-3 and Vandeweghe won their most recent match in the first round of 2016 Dubai 7-6(7-5), 6-1. Their only other match came on both of their preferred surface, the grass court, and Vandeweghe got the win in the second round of 2015 Wimbledon 7-6(7-5), 6-4. I believe this will be on their minds during the match and it will play a role because Vandeweghe always goes into a match with that little bit more swagger and confidence if she has the winning record.

Prediction

I believe this match will be a really fun, entertaining and intense battle with both girls really wanting to win out there. I think that Vandeweghe will walk on with the mental edge just because of her advantage in the head to head record and that she already has a match under her belt in Stuttgart this year. I think that the confidence will help Vandeweghe on getting the early break over Pliskova and the American won’t let go of that break for the rest of the set. Eventually, Vandeweghe will capture the 6-4 set and Pliskova will go into the second set under pressure. In the second set, I think Vandewghe will go up an early break again and might serve for the set at 5-4 but Pliskova will finish the game before she has match points. A tiebreaker will be forced and I think the tiebreaker will be long with Vandewghe having match points but Pliskova eventually forcing a decider. Vandeweghe won’t have the mental strength to play good tennis after failing to take advantage of match points and Pliskova will be in a rhythm as Pliskova will close out a 4-6, 7-6, 6-0 win.

 

 

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