World number 36 Cori Gauff will face the challenge of the 131st-ranked and tennis veteran Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round of the 2021 Charleston Open on Monday, April 5. Get the live streaming options of this Cori Gauff v Tsvetana Pironkova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Cori Gauff v Tsvetana Pironkova Head to Head
No previous matches have been played between the 17-year-old Gauff and Pironkova who is nearly 17 years older than her!
Gauff Faces Clay Challenge after Solid Start
Having featured in six tournaments on hard court surfaces and done excellently in two of them, Gauff will now re-focus her attention on the clay court swing of the season.
It’s not the kind of surface Gauff has relished in her short career, but it also gives her a chance to turn things around as she looks to convert her precocious talent into big results.
Gauff enters this clay court phase with a 11-6 win-loss record this season, having reached the semifinal of the Adelaide International as a qualifier and then made the quarterfinal in Dubai. Unfortunately for Gauff, she had fallen in the second round of the Miami Open, following a first round bye which means she features in her first match on clay since the last French Open on a two-match losing streak.
The American has a career 2-2 record on clay court surfaces in main draws of WTA tournaments.
Pironkova Herself Not a Clay Fan
Bulgaria’s Pironkova is on a comeback trail but what’s been remarkable is everything in her tennis since returning back last season points to a performance from a top 50 player on the women’s circuit.
After her sterling showing at the US Open last season, she followed it up with a third round appearance at the French Open and then qualified for the Australian Open this year by winning three qualifiers.
And while Pironkova was knocked out in the first round at the season’s first Grand Slam, she did well to make the third round at the Yarra Valley Classic and then to qualify for the main draw in Miami where she entered the second round. Her Miami Open campaign was ended by Aryna Sabalenka but not before she had bagelled her opponent in the first set and taken her to a long third set tie-breaker.
Pironkova, unfortunately, doesn’t hold a great record on clay, having gone beyond the third round at the French Open only once and with no WTA final appearance on that surface. That evens things out.
Gauff v Pironkova Prediction and Tip
On paper, Gauff is a favourite with bet365 offering 3/4 for her win while Pironkova starts out 1/1 for this one. That said we think these are two evenly-matched players on clay and we could see a longish encounter as a result. Either a three-setter for a slightly riskier option or over 19.5 games in the match.
Tip: Over 19.5 games in the match: 5/6 (bet365)