Marta Kostyuk will go head to head with the Bulgarian veteran Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round of the 2021 Miami Open on Wednesday, March 24. The match will be played at 6:45 pm BST. Get the live streaming options of this Marta Kostyuk vs Tsvetana Pironkova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Marta Kostyuk v Tsvetana Pironkova Head to Head
The two players have never met before on the WTA Tour.
Kostyuk Packing a Definite Threat
Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine may be just 18 years old but she has already broken into the top 100 and looks to make more strides this season.
She started the season on a superb note by reaching the semifinal in the WTA Abu Dhabi where she fell to Veronika Kudermetova. Nonetheless, that was among her best runs in a WTA event and that propelled her to her singles best ranking as World No. 78.
Kostyuk, however, fell prey to the age-old curse of inconsistency and moved on to lose her opening games in the Grampians Trophy and Australian Open.
The Ukrainian has since then taken a few weeks off the tour and is returning to tennis action in Miami this week.
Considering her performance last season, Kostyuk reached a couple of finals in the ITF Tyler and ITF Macon toward the end of 2020. She lost respectively to Ann Li and Catherine Bellis but those runs helped her crack the top 100.
Earlier that year, she had also reached the third round in the US Open and won the ITF $60,000 title in Egypt.
Pironkova High on Experience but Low on Momentum
At 33 years of age, Tsvetana Pironkova may be among the most experienced players on the tour but her recent form says otherwise. That said, she is trying hard to prove that it is far from over for her.
Following a hiatus from the tour between 2017-2020, the Bulgarian played her first professional match in over three years in the US Open 2020.
It was undoubtedly a dream comeback for Pironkova, who reached the quarterfinal at the Flushing Meadows after beating the likes of Garbine Muguruza, Donna Vekic, and Alize Cornet. She ultimately succumbed to Serena Williams. However, that was her fourth such run in a Grand Slam.
Pironkova followed that with a third-round run in the French Open before ending the season there. In 2021 so far, she has featured in the Yarra Valley Classic and Australian Open.
In the first case, she reached the third round before losing to Williams once again; in the latter, she won her three qualifying games but lost to Su-Wei Hsieh in the first round.
Just like Kostyuk, Pironkova too is playing in her first match since Melbourne. The only difference is she is starting as a qualifier, having dispatched Caty McNally and Olga Govortsova to reach the main draw.
Kostyuk v Pironkova Prediction and Tip
Expect this to be a close affair. Pironkova has got what it takes to win here although, she may be lacking form. Kostyuk, however, has been working hard on the tour and will certainly fancy her chances in this game. All in all, we have a good game of tennis in our hands.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)