World number 20 Karolina Muchova will hope to continue to sparkle for the season when she takes on Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarterfinal of the 2021 Madrid Open on Wednesday, May 5. Get the live streaming options of this Karolina Muchova v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Karolina Muchova v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Head to Head
Their only previous outing had come in 2019 in Moscow and Pavlyuchenkova had won that semifinal in three sets on an indoor hard court surface.
Muchova’s Fine Fettle Continues
In what turned out to be a match of fluctuating fortunes, Muchova came through against the highly-fancied Maria Sakkari in the third round in Madrid. The Czech registered a 6-0, 6-7 (9), 7-5 win in two hours and 38 minutes to march into the last eight.
Muchova had her chances to finish off the match in the second set tie-breaker itself, missing out on match-points at 6-5 and 7-6 before Sakkari managed to edge her out on her third set-point at 10-9.
Having bagelled Sakkari in the opening set, not too many would have thought it would come to four breaks of serves to get to 3-3 in the final set. Sakkari broke again to take a 5-3 lead but failed to serve out the match with Muchova breaking her twice in a row to finally claim the encounter.
It was Muchova’s ability to win points off her second serve that got her through the match, having earlier also defeated Wang Qiang and Naomi Osaka in the first two rounds here. Can she now brush past a fellow, surprise quarterfinalist?
Pavlyuchenkova Pushes out Brady
Much like Muchova, Pavlyuchenkova also had a match-point in the second set tie-breaker that she failed to convert and had to take the long route of winning her third round match against Jennifer Brady in Madrid in three sets.
Having earlier gone past Karolina Pliskova, Pavlyuchenkova looked to have surprised a few by snatching the first set of their match despite conceding an early break advantage back to her opponent. At 5-5, Pavlyuchenkova broke Brady and then served out the set to take the lead.
Brady bounced back to go 4-1 up in the second, only to lose three games in a row and the set was pushed into a tie-breaker. Pavlyuchenkova forged a 6-5 lead there but failed to break the Brady serve but the American herself needed three set-points to push the match into a third.
The American has been sensational on court in recent months but clay isn’t quite her forte which showed up in the third set. She was down a break twice, fought back to level things out but only had Pavlyuchenkova break her the third time before serving out for the match.
To understand the gravity of Pavlyuchenkova’s achievement, this is the first time in 16 months has the Russian managed to win three matches in a row. Can she thwart the in-form Muchova now?
Muchova v Pavlyuchenkova Prediction and Tip
Muchova kick-starts the match at 4/7 favourite here with Pavlyuchenkova in an almost unfamiliar territory in recent times at 11/8. Backing a Muchova win in three for this one.