World number nine Karolina Pliskova has Russian veteran and 113th-ranked Vera Zvonareva as her opponent in the third round of the 2021 Italian Open on Thursday, May 13. Get the live streaming options of this Karolina Pliskova v Vera Zvonareva match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Karolina Pliskova v Vera Zvonareva Head to Head
Their only previous meeting came at the 2018 Kremlin Cup competition and Zvonareva surprisingly ran off to a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
Pliskova Sizzles Past Sevastova
A winner in 2019 and a runner-up last year, Pliskova had come into this second round encounter against Anastasija Sevastova as a favourite but only just. And that was to do with her patchy form all season.
Such has been Pliskova’s recent discomfiture that she was an underwhelming 10-8 on win-loss record for the year. Which is why when she defeated Sevastova, 6-2, 6-3 it would been both, a surprise and a relief for the former world number one.
Pliskova needed just 71 minutes to get past her Latvian opponent thanks to her strong serving which saw her win more than three-fourths of her first serve points. The Czech broke her opponent six times, while losing her serve on a couple of occasions.
Having gotten knocked out in the second round of the Madrid Open last week, Pliskova will now hope to shrug that defeat off with another strong showing as she looks to build some momentum before the seaosn’s second Grand Slam – something she hasn’t been able to do in recent times.
Zvonareva Completes Upset Win over Kvitova
Ranked 113th in the world, not many gave Zvonareva too much of a chance in her second round encounter against the 11th seeded Petra Kvitova but she came through in three sets to win back to back matches on a surface she hasn’t done too well.
A qualifier in this tournament, Zvonareva had earlier cruised past Christina McHale in her opener but a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over Kvitova was quite unexpected. She was on court for nearly two and a half hours.
The first set saw an early exchange of serves to take them to 2-2 before back to back breaks for the Russian helped her close out the set off her fourth set-point. Something similar followed in the second set but this time around Kvitova carved out that decisive break in the sixth game before serving it out at 5-3.
And when Kvitova then got herself a 2-0 lead in the third set, the match looked to be finally going to script but a stunning turnaround followed. Zvonareva won the next five games in a row and while she missed out on two match-points and lost her serve once, the Russian closed out the match in the 10th game of the set.
Pliskova v Zvonareva Prediction and Tip
Zvonareva deserves a lot of respect for her wins over McHale and Kvitova and with Pliskova having shown vulnerable signs in recent times, we could be in for a thriller. Three-setter looks likely.