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Pliskova vs Alexandrova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Pliskova to continue dominant WTA Eastbourne run

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 27 Jun 2019
  • Karolina Pliskova faces Ekaterina Alexandrova in the quarterfinals of the Nature Valley International
  • Pliskova vs Alexandrova is live from Eastbourne on Thursday at 5pm BST
Karolina Pliskova (PA Sports)

Karolina Pliskova looks to make the semifinals in Eastbourne for the third time as she takes on Ekaterina Alexandrova on Thursday.

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Former champion Karolina Pliskova is on dominant form at the Nature Valley International so far as she heads into a quarterfinal clash with Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Karolina Pliskova (PA Sports)
Pliskova made back-to-back finals at the Premier-level Eastbourne event in 2016 and 2017, finishing runner-up to Dominika Cibulkova and winning the title when she beat Caroline Wozniacki the following year, but fell afoul of the inspired run of Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinals in 2018.

Now confirmed to be seeded third for Wimbledon, Pliskova continues to pursue her first Grand Slam title after having made a solitary major final at the 2016 US Open. The former world no. 1 has put together a very consistent season with a 32-9 record at the time of writing, having won Rome and Brisbane and reached the final of Miami and the semifinals of the Australian Open, but she suffered two blows during the clay-court season: First, an illness which impacted her ability to defend her Stuttgart title, caused her to pull out of Prague and saw her ousted early in Madrid, and secondly a third-round defeat at the French Open to an inspired Petra Martic.

For a woman whose only real goal at this stage must be to win Grand Slams, it was disappointing that she couldn’t find a way to even push Martic to a decider, and said disappointment was compounded when her first grass-court tournament for 2019 in Birmingham ended when she lost to twin sister Kristyna Pliskova – whose career achievements are far inferior to Karolina’s, but has generally had the best of it when the two have met across the net – in a third-set tie-break.

Small wonder, then, that Pliskova seems to have come into Eastbourne on a mission, ousting Margarita Gasparyan 6-3, 6-3 in the second round before blasting past Elise Mertens 6-1, 6-2. Mertens seems to be struggling ever since she won her Doha title in February, but Pliskova was in no mood to be trifled with on a day when the skies frequently threatened rain, serving five aces, saving all three break points she faced and breaking Mertens’s serve four times on her way to a 60-minute victory.

‘I'm getting better with every day, so I'm pleased with the performance,’ Pliskova said afterwards. ‘Of course, some things could be better, but I think the score couldn't be much easier.’

Pliskova has now put herself in a great position to reach the Eastbourne semifinals for the third time as she prepares to face Ekaterina Alexandrova.

This is Alexandrova’s second grass-court quarterfinal of 2019 after she made it that far in ‘s-Hertogenbosch two weeks ago, losing to eventual champion Alison Riske, and the second Premier-level quarterfinal of her season after making the last eight at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy as a qualifier in February.

Ekaterina Alexandrova (PA Sports)
Alexandrova, 24, broke into the top 100 for the first time in 2017 but struggled to establish herself firmly within it. She was ranked world no. 119 in late 2018 when she had the best run of her career, first reaching the final of the WTA Tour International event in Linz as a qualifier and finishing runner-up to Camila Giorgi, then winning the WTA 125k in Limoges to end the year ranked world no. 73.

So far in 2019, Alexandrova has climbed until she’s on the brink of breaking into the top 50 for the first time, making the aforementioned quarterfinals in St Petersburg, the semifinals in Budapest in February, beating Caroline Wozniacki to make the third round of Indian Wells and shaking off a poor run of form which saw her win only one of nine matches to reach the third round of the French Open with wins over Mihaela Buzarnescu and Samantha Stosur before going out to qualifier Aliona Bolsova.

Alexandrova made the second round of Wimbledon as a qualifier in 2016 and has twice made the semifinals of ITF $100k events on grass, but this year marks the first time she’s made an impression on WTA Tour events on the surface. In Eastbourne, she started out with a straight-sets win over Ajla Tomljanovic before upsetting tenth seed Belinda Bencic in three sets and progressing past Jelena Ostapenko when the former French Open champion and Wimbledon semifinalist retired trailing 3-6, 12 with a hip injury.

This will be the second meeting between Pliskova and Alexandrova, after the Russian lost in three sets to the Czech at the French Open in 2017. Grass actually might suit the hard-hitting Alexandrova better – she’s got some flat shots off both wings which can cause a lot of problems for her opponents – but Pliskova seems firmly in the groove of her preferred first-strike tennis in Eastbourne and one would expect the world no. 3 to come through to the semifinals of the Nature Valley International for the third time.

Pliskova vs Alexandrova tennis is live from Eastbourne on Thursday at 5pm

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Pliskova vs Alexandrova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Pliskova to continue dominant WTA Eastbourne run

Karolina Pliskova vs Ekaterina Alexandrova live streaming, preview and predictions for the Nature Valley International quarterfinal match on Thursday 27 June: Pliskova is yet to drop more than three games in a set as she sets sights on third Eastbourne semifinal

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