Defending champion and No.2-seed Karolina Pliskova will start the defence of her title against a tricky opponent in the form of her compatriot Barbora Strycova in the second round encounter at the Italian Open 2020.
Talking about the performance so far in the tournament, Strycova had a good outing in the Round of 64 match. The 34-year old Czech bamboozled Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the next round.
On the other hand, World No.4 Pliskova got a bye in the first round. The 28-year old, though won the WTA Premier 5 event last year, isn’t looking at her best currently. Getting ousted from the second round in the last week concluded US Open suggests that Pliskova needs a herculean task in order to retain her crown in Rome that she won in 2019.
Barbora Strycova vs Karolina Pliskova: Head-to-Head
Strycova and Pliskova have played each other at least 5 times prior to their meeting on red clay in Rome. The younger of the Czechs leads the head-to-head record 4-1. Their last meeting came way back in 2018 in a Round of 16 match in Eastbourne. There, Pliskova easily got the better of Strykova in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.
Barbora Strycova vs Karolina Pliskova: Prediction
The head-to-head record suggests that Pliskova is pretty comfortable playing against her country-mate. However, the form is not with her at the moment. Moreover, given that both the players play for Czech Republic and hence, know each other’s playing style so well, it certainly leads to a mouth-watering encounter. Despite her recent struggles, Pliskova might pull this off, however, not before Strycova stretches her friend to her extreme limit.
Match Prediction: Karolina Pliskova defeats Barbora Strycova in a hard-fought three-set thriller.