World number six Karolina Pliskova will take on Romania’s unseeded Sorana Cirstea in the first round of the 2021 WTA Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, January 6. The match timings are yet to be updated. Get the live streaming options of this Karolina Pliskova v Sorana Cirstea match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Karolina Pliskova v Sorana Cirstea Head to Head
There have been two previous matches between Pliskova and Cirstea and both have won one apiece. The first came in 2014 in Pattaya in which Pliskova came through in three sets before Cirstea had her revenge in 2017 in Beijing with a straight-set win.
Pliskova Hoping to Shrug Off Poor 2020
It was a year to forget for most and for different reasons but more so for Pliskova who struggled to get going. The Czech, who is a former world number one and began the 2020 season as the second-ranked player in the world, ended sixth and that was also thanks to the updated points system.
She finished 2020 with just 14 wins out of the 22 matches she played in, which included a title at the Brisbane International.
In fact Pliskova looked extremely confident in that competition in Brisbane, defeating Alison Riske, Naomi Osaka and Madison Keys to clinch the title but things changed drastically after that.
Pliskova made it to the final of only one other tournament, which came in Rome where she was down 0-6, 1-2 in the final against Simona Halep before having to call off the match because of a left thigh injury.
She returned to play at the French Open and Ostrava Open but won a combined total of one match in them.
Cirstea Had an Ordinary Last Season
While Cirstea did finish 2020 on bit of a high with a title win on the ITF circuit – she clinched the Dubai ITF competition by beating the likes of Polona Hercog and Katerina Siniakova – her other results last season didn’t quite go her way.
In fact, when the Romanian reached the third round at the US Open with wins over Christina McHale and Johanna Konta, it represented her best result for the season.
Arguably it had been a curtailed tennis year for most, but with no real results to show even more the number of tournaments she participated in, Cirstea would have been disappointed. Other than that US Open mini-success, Cirstea didn’t win a couple of matches in a row in any of her other competitions.
Interestingly, with the change in the WTA rankings system, Cirstea, who had started the season ranked 74th, still managed to finish 71st in the world – thanks partially to her Dubai title win – but she will want to turn things around quickly in 2021 if the Romanian is looking for a better finish.
Pliskova v Cirstea Prediction and Tip
While Pliskova’s form was under-par last year, she will be up against a player who has had her own issues. Pliskova has had a change in the coaching staff too and starts the season with renewed vigour which should see her cruise this one.
Tip: Pliskova to win in straight sets: 4/5 (bet365)