Two players ranked in the 20s, Karolina Muchova and Madison Keys will face off in the first round of the 2021 Italian Open on Monday, May 10. Get the live streaming options of this Karolina Muchova v Madison Keys match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Karolina Muchova v Madison Keys Head to Head
Their only previous meeting came at the 2019 China Open and Keys had won that first round match in straight sets.
Muchova Coming off Madrid Quarters
As if a semifinal appearance at the Australian Open wasn’t good enough, Muchova now has taken the scalps of Wang Qiang, Naomi Osaka and Maria Sakkari on the clay courts of Madrid last week.
And while the Czech was bundled out in two tie-breakers by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in her quarterfinal that tournament, Muchova will take a lot of confidence from the wins before that defeat.
Interestingly, Muchova’s showing on clay over the last three seasons haven’t been that sterling, not as good as on other courts for sure. She had earlier fallen in the first round in Stuttgart, lost her opener at the French Open last year and while she did make it to the final in Prague in 2019, that was more of an exception in recent times than a norm.
Can she take down a player who has struggled this season but is a former Italian Open finalist?
Keys in Form Strife
She has played seven matches this season and lost five of them. Four of those defeats for Keys have come in a row and she enters this year’s Italian Open having last won a match early in March.
That win had come over the 256th-ranked En Shuo Liang, before she lost to Anastasia Potapova, Ana Konjuh, Sloane Stephens and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a row.
0-2 on clay this year, it follows Keys losing her only match on this surface last season, which came in the opening round of French Open; this is a bit of a surprise given what had transpired for Keys before.
In 2019, for instance, Keys had won a title in Charleston and was a French Open quarterfinalist. That had followed a semifinal appearance in both these tournaments in 2018.
Essentially, Keys can turn it on on clay but needs a couple of solid performances to get going. Can it begin with this opener here in Rome?
Muchova v Keys Prediction and Tip
Muchova is an obvious favourite but at 11/5, Keys looks like a good bet. Could lead to a bit of a tussle and we are backing Keys to win a set here.