Sixth seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will take on Arantxa Rus in what will be in first round action at the 2020 Prague Open match. The match is scheduled for Tuesday, August 11 and will begin at around 11.30 am local time (10.30 am BST). Get the live streaming options of this Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Arantxa Rus match along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Arantxa Rus Head to Head
This is the second time that Pavlyuchenkova and Rus will be facing off after having met all the way back in 2011 at the Tokyo Open. It was the first round match then, and had resulted in a 6-4, 6-3 win for Pavlyuchenkova.
Pavlyuchenkova, Winner of UTS
Pavlyuchenkova featured in a couple of matches at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown 2, which was also the first UTS tournament for women and won both of them to lift the title earlier this month. She defeated Ons Jabeur and Alize Cornet in the process.
Speak of competitive tennis before that and Pavlyuchenkova had played in four tournaments, all of which came on hard courts, at the start of the season. A first round loss in Brisbane and a second round ouster in Adelaide had put paid to any meaningful practice she could have got out of those competitions heading into the Australian Open but that didn’t seem to matter Pavlyuchenkova too much.
At the season’s first Grand Slam, Pavlyuchenkova stormed off to a solid start by beating Nina Stojanovic and Taylor Townsend, but it was in the third round that she faced her biggest challenge. And probably recorded her best win – one against Karolina Pliskova.
And to prove it was no flash in the pan, Pavlyuchenkova then edged out Angelique Kerber in three sets to make it to her joint-best-ever quarter-final in a Grand Slam. The confidence will be there, to go with having played those UTS matches to stave off any rustiness from the long break.
Rus Switches Coming off Opening Loss
The 70th-ranked Dutchwoman is coming off probably her best ever season at the lower tier in which she won a staggering 10 titles. To give a context, that’s 10 of the 24 career titles she has won!
This year, however, her only top performance came at the Monterrey Open towards the end of the pre-pandemic season, where she reached the semifinal, losing only to Elina Svitolina. However, the surprising aspect was her showing in Palermo where she went down to Donna Vekic in her opener in straight sets.
Why surprising? Because clay is her favourite surface and Vekic has been struggling for a bit now. Can she shrug that defeat off as a one-off against a player who has been in-form but not the strongest on clay?
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Arantxa Rus Prediction & Tip
Pavlyuchenkova will be the favourite in this one (2/9 with bet365) but we think Rus has the game on clay to upset her opponent’s apple-cart. Looking at the games handicap here.
Tip: Games Handicap Rus +5.5: 4/6 (bet365)