The evening session of the WTA Dubai Open continues as Caroline Garcia meets Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in their first round encounter on Monday. The match begins at around 8.15 pm local time (4.15 pm BST).
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Caroline Garcia v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Head to Head
There have been four previous matches between these two players and while their respective current rankings suggest that Garcia should have had the edge, it’s her opponent who leads this head to head 3-1. Not surprisingly, it was Pavlyuchenkova who was their first three matches, leading up to 2017, but last year, Garcia finally looked like she had the measure of her opponent with a tough, three-set win at the Tokyo Open.
Garcia Looks to Move on from Doha
After having withdrawn from WTA Doha for unknown reasons, Garcia will hope she can re-capture her mojo from her performance at the Fed Cup in the week before that. She had defeated two strong opponents in the form of Alison van Uytvanck and Elise Mertens in their match against Belgium.
In the process, Garcia also managed to stall a two-match losing streak that had seen her lose in round three at the Australian Open to Danielle Rose Collins and then in her opener at the Thailand Open to Jennifer Brady.
Earlier, Garcia hadn’t had a great start to the season either when she lost in the round one of Shenzhen Open and Hobart International which puts the focus on her how she comes back from a poor start to the season to not just win this, relatively tougher, first round match but also move deeper into the tournament.
Back to Back Quarter-Finals for Pavlyuchenkova
Pavlyuchenkova also struggled at the start of the season with a first round defeat at the Hobart International following her round two exit in Shenzhen. However, things look like they have turned for the better for the 32nd-ranked Pavlyuchenkova, when she made it to the last-eight stage at the Australian Open.
That showing at the Australian Open was her joint best-ever in any Grand Slam, which includes a last-eight entry in each of the four major.
What would have made that quarter-final entry even more satisfying for Pavlyuchenkova is she defeated Kiki Bertens and Sloane Stephens on her way to making it there before she went down to eventual semi-finalist Danielle Collins.
While Bertens had her revenge against Pavlyuchenkova in St. Petersburg, it wasn’t before the Russian had beaten Alize Cornet and Jelena Ostapenko in that tournament which makes her season so far to be a strong one.
Garcia v Pavlyuchenkova Predictions & Tips
This looks like a match that could go down to the wire with two players who look to be equally strong on their best days. Which is why there’s every chance we could see a three-setter in this one, with bet365 offering 11/8 for that to happen.
You can watch & bet on Garcia v Pavlyuchenkova on Monday, February 18. The match will be held at around 4.15 pm BST.