World number 24 Donna Vekic will face former Wimbledon semifinalist Tsvetana Pironkova in the third round of the 2020 US Open and the match will be played Saturday, September 5. The timings will be announced soon. Get the live streaming options of this Donna Vekic v Tsvetana Pironkova match along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Donna Vekic v Tsvetana Pironkova Head to Head
Before Pironkova went on a tennis hiatus, she had played Vekic three times and won each time. All three matches came on hard court.
The first of their meetings was at the qualifiers of the Sydney International in 2015, the next one came at the 2016 Indian Wells first round and they last met in the 2016 San Antonio Open quarterfinal. This was a year before Pironkova decided to go on a break from the sport before returning this season.
Vekic Showing the Old Spark
It hasn’t been the best of the seasons for the Croatian Vekic as she careened from one loss to another all year. She had gone into the pandemic break with a first round loss at the Qatar Open and returned to tennis with two defeats in three matches across a couple of tournaments, in Palermo and the Cincinnati Open.
Which is why while on paper, Vekic might have gone into both her first two rounds as a favourite, the niggling fear was always of another of those early upsets.
And that’s how things looked for a long time in the first round here too, when Vekic lost the first set to Kristyna Pliskova and was down 3-5 in the second. Vekic refused to go away in a hurry though, broke Pliskova back at 5-4 and then took the set in a tie-breaker. And she followed it up with a 6-4 in the final set with a single break of serve.
Things became a lot easier for Vekic in round two as she registered a crushing 6-2, 6-1 win over the 88th-ranked Patricia Maria Tig. In turn, some of the old spark might have returned for Vekic, who had been baying for some sort of form and the need to go deep into this tournament.
Pironkova Shocks Muguruza
A fourth round at the 2017 US Open has been Garbine Muguruza’s best performance at this Grand Slam and it’s going to remain like that for at least a year. That’s because Pironkova, back playing tennis for the first time since 2017, registered the shock of the women’s draw by defeating Muguruza in straight sets and move to the third round.
Pironkova, who had taken a break from tennis following the birth of her son, was able to return to the circuit because of WTA’s changed rules about protected rankings for returning moms.
In her own words, the situation with the pandemic meant she was able to make a direct entry into the main draw of the tournament but little would she have thought, let alone anyone else, she would be beating back to back opponents in straight sets to make the third round.
The Bulgarian had earlier registered a 6-2, 6-3 win over Luidmila Samsonova, despite having gone into the match at 6/1 odds but the more shocking showing came in round two against Muguruza. So much so, the Spaniard was forced into frustrated grumblings and racquet smashes by the end.
Can Pironkova add to her victim tally now?
Vekic v Pironkova Prediction & Tip
On the one side is a player who had been off-colour for most part of the season but has made the third round. On the other side is one who hasn’t had a season for more than two years and still won a couple of impressive ones. A lot could depend on how Pironkova’s body is feeling having played after this long but she might have bit of a chance. Giving three sets for this one.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)