World number 27 Karolina Muchova faces Germany’s 30-year-old Mona Barthel in the second round of the 2021 Australian Open on Thursday, February 11, with the match likely to begin at around 11 am local time (12 noon BST or 7 pm Eastern Time previous day). Get the live streaming options of this Karolina Muchova v Mona Barthel match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Karolina Muchova v Mona Barthel Head to Head
Muchova and Barthel have never met in a competitive match before this.
Muchova Maintains Unbeaten Streak
While injuries and withdrawals have punctuated her streak, Muchova continues to remain unbeaten in 2021, having won her opener at the Abu Dhabi Open and then again registered victories at the Gippsland Trophy. In both those tournaments, the Czech world number 27 managed to clinch those matches but then had to withdraw from her next one because of fitness-related concerns.
Which is why she would have been pleased with her performance in the first round of the Australian Open where she sent Jelena Ostapenko packing in straight sets. Needing an hour and 40 minutes, Muchova hit 23 winners and 5 aces, to go with getting six breaks of serve that saw her through.
However it is her unforced error count which could be a cause for concern as she moves into the latter rounds and faces more challenging opponents – she hit 37 of them, which was the same as Ostapenko’s count. Can she turn things around on that front going up against the world number 212?
Barthel Stuns Cocciaretto
Having lost in the first round at the Abu Dhabi Open and then having gone down in the second round of the Yarra Valley Classic Open last week again, things looked rather bleak for the former world number 23 Barthel, who has fallen nearly 190 places in the rankings.
And when she took on Italy’s Elisabetta Cocciaretto, a 126th-ranked opponent, she was the second favourite going into the encounter starting out at 9/5 to win the match.
Barthel then lost the first set too and the writing was on the wall, but for one fact. The German has shown in the past she isn’t too wary of a fight and Barthel did just that.
She broke Cocciaretto while her opponent served at 4-5 to stay in the second set, and then repeated the dose in the third set as well with the Italian dropping twice at the most crucial of times.
Can she now take that very fight to the much-higher ranked Muchova?
Muchova v Barthel Prediction and Tip
Muchova starts off at 1/6 to win this and while she does start off a favourite we also think Barthel’s experience should help. Could see another gritty performance from Barthel, which goes to the third set.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 5/2 (bet365)