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Pliskova vs Gasparyan WTA Eastbourne Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Former champion, Pliskova faces tricky opener in Eastbourne

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 24 Jun 2019
  • Karolina Pliskova vs Margarita Gasparyan is live from Eastbourne on Monday, 24 June from 12:30pm local time/ 12:30pm BST
  • Gasparyan won their only previous meeting in Doha in 2016
Karolina Pliskova. (PA Sport)

Former champion, Karolina Pliskova begins her Eastbourne campaign on Monday when she plays Russian, Margarita Gasparyan in the second round.

Pliskova is coming off a second round exit in Birmingham, where she fell in three sets to twin sister, Kristyna. The Czech had opened her Birmingham bid with victory over Mihaela Buzarnescu, but she fell just short against her sister in the second round, losing in a final set tie break in the first WTA main draw meeting between the Pliskova twins.

It is not very often that Pliskova gets out-aced on the tour, but she was comfortably beaten in that department by Kristyna, who sent down 24 aces- almost three times more than Karolina's nine- in the hour and 57-minute contest.

Despite that setback in her opening grass-court tournament of the season, Pliskova will again be amongst the favourites at Wimbledon (where she has strangely underperformed over the years), and she will want to put in a good week at Eastbourne to build some confidence and take some momentum into the All England Club.

The Czech has had a good year so far, compiling a 29-8 record, and reaching the quarter finals in six of her ten tournaments. She has won titles in Brisbane and Rome, made the final at the Miami Open, and reached the last four at the Australian Open, where she was beaten by eventual titlist, Naomi Osaka. 

The world No. 3 was champion in Eastbourne in 2017, beating Caroline Wozniacki in the final, but she has lost out in the quarter finals in each of the last two years. Can she produce another deep run this week as she rounds up her preparations for Wimbledon?

She opens against Margarita Gasparyan in the second round on Monday.

Gasparyan is playing her third grass-court tournament of the season, and has fallen at this stage in the previous two- in s-Hertogenbosch and Birmingham. That said, the Russian has scored a couple of very useful wins in both tournaments, beating the rising and dangerous Viktoria Kuzmova in s-Hertogenbosch, and scoring a fine top-ten win over Elina Svitolina in Birmingham. She fell to Greet Minnen and Petra Martic in the respective tournaments.

Gasparyan impressed again in her opening match in Eastbourne, taking out Czech, Katerina Siniakova 6-3 6-3 on Sunday.

The Russian is looking to win consecutive matches for just the second time this season, having previously managed that on the clay of Istanbul, where she defeated Johanna Larsson, Mihaela Buzarnescu and Veronika Kudermetova before retiring against Petra Martic in the semi-finals. 

Outside Istanbul, she has won just five WTA matches this year, three of them during this short grass court season. Her only other wins were at the Australian Open (beat Lin Zhu), and Monterrey (defeated Victoria Rodriguez).

Gasparyan reached a career-high ranking of No. 41 in 2016, but her progress was curtailed by a knee injury which kept her out of action for 16 months between Wimbledon 2016, where she retired from her first round meeting with Denisa Allertova, and the 2017 Kremlin Cup in Moscow, where she featured, and lost out in the qualifying rounds. She did not play a WTA main draw match until Nanchang in July 2018, over two years after she last appeared at that level.

Considering her injury problems, Gasparyan has done really well to work her way up to a current ranking of 62nd, and she has been playing some decent tennis in recent weeks, and could cause some difficulty for Pliskova when they meet for the second time on Monday.

The 24-year-old romped to a 6-1 6-1 victory in their only previous encounter in Doha back in 2016.

Pliskova has obviously gone on to become one of the best players in the world, while Gasparyan has been held back by injuries, but there are signs that the Russian might be regaining some of the form that took her into the top-50 when she first broke onto the scene.

Pliskova remains the favourite for this one, but I don't think an upset is totally out of the question.

Karolina Pliskova vs Margarita Gasparyan is live from Eastbourne on Monday, 24 June from 12:30pm local time/ 12:30pm BST


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Pliskova vs Gasparyan WTA Eastbourne Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Former champion, Pliskova faces tricky opener in Eastbourne

Karolina Pliskova begins her Eastbourne campaign on Monday when she takes on Russia's Margarita Gasparyan in the second round. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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