World No. 7 Karolina Pliskova will go head to head with former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinal of the 2019 Italian Open in Rome on Friday. The match will take place on May 17 after 2:30 pm local time (1:30 pm BST). Get Karolina Pliskova v Victoria Azarenka live streaming options here.
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Karolina Pliskova v Victoria Azarenka Head to Head
Azarenka currently leads Pliskova by 4-3, courtesy of her recent win over the Czech in the 2019 Stuttgart Open.
Last year, they met thrice where Pliskova won two of their meetings, including the one that came in the Wimbledon.
Azarenka Looking Absolutely Brilliant
Azarenka is one of the few players who didn’t have to undergo the hectic ordeal that took place on Thursday in Rome. After defeating Shuai Zhang in her opening match, she moved on to knock out the two-time defending champion Elina Svitolina 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
That match was on Tuesday and following a day of rest, she moved past Garbine Muguruza in straight sets. She had a comfortable run there, with the Spaniard withdrawing from the match in the second set.
The Belarusian has had a decent season so far and has been certainly playing some good tennis of late. After struggling with her form through most of last year, she is getting back to her winning ways. She was a runner-up in Monterrey and a quarterfinalist in Stuttgart, where she retired in the final set of the match, despite leading the score.
At the same time, she has had her share of losses. In Madrid last week, she lost to Sloane Stephens in the second round itself.
Pliskova Finds her Footing in Rome
Since the start of the clay season, Pliskova has been struggling a lot to get her rhythm on the surface. With the French Open right around the corner, the Czech knew that it is imperative for her to develop some sort of form.
Following early exits in Stuttgart and Madrid, she arrived in Rome and so far, has done quite well.
Just like Azarenka, the current WTA Tokyo champion had only one match to play yesterday. She played a highly determined Sofia Kenin, who had just defeated Madison Keys, for a place in the quarterfinal. Pliskova won the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
That win came after the Czech knocked out Ajla Tomljanovic in the opening match in Rome.
Pliskova has been superb this season, having reached the final in the Miami Open and the semifinal in the Australian Open. She has been highly consistent on the hard courts and now, is finding her groove on clay as well.
Pliskova v Azarenka Predictions & Tips
Azarenka is in a good form and has certainly spent more time on clay this year in comparison to Pliskova. This will give her the edge here although, Pliskova is a tough competitor and can make things tricky for the Belarusian.
Both the players are well-rested and we can expect them to come out here with all guns blazing. This will be an evenly matched fixture which can go either way. But we have a feeling that Azarenka might win this one.
Tip: Azarenka to win: 4/6 (888Sport)