World number four Karolina Pliskova will be in second round action at the 2020 French Open when she takes on former winner Jelena Ostapenko on Thursday, October 1. The match could begin at around 12.00 pm local time (11.00 am BST). Get the live streaming options of this Shuai Zhang v Alize Cornet match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Karolina Pliskova v Jelena Ostapenko Head to Head
There have been five matches played before this between Pliskova and Ostapenko and this has been an interesting rivalry. Pliskova leads 3-2 with Ostapenko having won their most recent match at the Beijing Open last year. On clay, however, they have met once in Stuttgart and Pliskova won that in three sets.
One of their best matches came at the 2017 Australian Open with Pliskova winning that third round match, 10-8 in the final set.
Pliskova in a Near-Shock First Up
In the end, the second seeded Pliskova scraped through 6-7 (9), 6-2, 6-4 but her opponent Mayer Sherif looked like she had a chance till the last point. The Egyptian fought hard, and her never-say-die almost helped her pull a rabbit out of the hat before Pliskova settled down and broke Sherif for the fifth and the final time in the match to squeak through to round two.
Pliskova’s serving looked to have deserted her in the second set as she got only 57% of the serves in but the rest of her game perked up as she slammed 14 winners and made only six unforced errors in it.
And with her confidence back, the third set saw Pliskova get that first serve percentage back up to 82% while winning 74% of those points. The Czech didn’t concede a single break-point in the entire set, and while she frittered away six of those that she herself got, Pliskova got the all-important break off the seventh to take the match.
Up against her is the highly talented, but erratic and a former French Open champion and she will need to up the ante that much more if Pliskova wants to get past her.
Strasbourg Run Helps Ostapenko
Ostapenko had opted out of the American swing earlier, having also not played at the earlier clay court competitions in Europe. So while she has shown to struggle this season with her results, it wasn’t too much of a surprise when she lost to Magda Linette in her opener at Rome.
What worked was the manner in which she came back at Strasbourg, the tournament she played last week to get back into some sort of a rhythm. There, while she went down to Nao Hibino in the quarterfinals, Ostapenko showed her ability to remain in the match even when having fallen behind.
In the second round, she had come back from a set down to beat Kiki Bertens, and continuing on from that shot in the arm, Ostapenko routed Madison Brengle in her opener here, winning 6-2, 6-1.
Things will now heat up considerably given the quality of her opponent but Ostapenko would have seen an obvious weakness – Pliskova has herself shown that erratic nature which had seen her lost two of her three matches in USA and the performance in the first round here.
Pliskova v Ostapenko Prediction and Tip
Pliskova is the second seed and starts off as long as 4/7 for this one! And that’s to do with the manner in which these two got through to the second round, apart from how the heavy conditions negate Pliskova’s serve considerably. We will still back Pliskova, especially at those odds.
Tip: Pliskova to win: 4/7 (bet365)