World number nine Karolina Pliskova has a tough task on her hands when she takes on American teenage talent Cori Gauff in the first round of the 2021 Madrid Open on Friday, April 30. Get the live streaming options of this Karolina Pliskova v Cori Gauff match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Karolina Pliskova v Cori Gauff Head to Head
No previous matches have been played between Pliskova and Gauff before this.
Pliskova Stretched at Stuttgart
The former world number Pliskova has fallen away to an extent with results barely going her way in recent times. At best, this season, Pliskova has won back to back matches.
And while most of the defeats have come against some of the in-form players on tour at the moment, it would be getting worrisome for the Czech as she hunts for a tournament win.
Because here’s a player who has won a title each year since 2013 but since the resumption of tennis following the pandemic break, Pliskova has done nothing of that sort. She got close once, getting to the final in Rome 2020 but suffered a pounding loss at the hands of Simona Halep.
Interestingly, Pliskova can take some positive from how things went in Stuttgart. She was stretched in both her wins, needing three sets against Tamara Korpatsch and Jelena Ostapenko in the first two rounds of that competition, but Pliskova then managed to take a set off world number one Ash Barty.
Can she now figure out a way to get past a talented youngster in her opener?
Gauff Begins Clay Swing on a High
After making it to the semifinal of the Adelaide International as a qualifier, Gauff looks to have begun well on clay as well with a solid showing at the Charleston Open. She won her first three rounds, defeating Tsvetana Pironkova, Ludmilla Samsonova and Lauren Davis to come through to the quarterfinal where she finally went down to Ons Jabeur.
And this is the kind of showing that wasn’t on display last season as Gauff fell in the second rounds at both, Rome and Paris – the two clay court competitions she played.
Those two match wins, incidentally were her first two on that surface and changing that to three in one tournament this season points to a marked improvement in Gauff’s game on clay.
What needs to be seen now, however, is whether she can run her higher-ranked but off-colour opponent to ground.
Pliskova v Gauff Prediction and Tip
Pliskova is a favourite here, win twin wins in the tournament before this giving her some respite despite her otherwise underwhelming form. Gauff should make it tough for her though and we could see a three-setter here.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)