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Pliskova vs Mertens WTA Eastbourne Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Pliskova and Mertens meet for the first time with Eastbourne quarter final on the line

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 25 Jun 2019
  • Karolina Pliskova vs Elise Mertens is live from Eastbourne on Wednesday, 26 June from 12:30pm local time/ 12:30pm BST
  • First meeting between Pliskova and Mertens
Karolina Pliskova. (PA Sport)

Karolina Pliskova and Elise Mertens meet for the first time on Wednesday as they battle for a quarter final spot at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne.

*Geo-restrictions apply. Streams available to customers with an active balance 

Pliskova is looking to reach the last eight in Eastbourne for the third straight season, following her title run in 2017, where she defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the final, and her quarter final showing in 2018, when she lost to eventual champion, Wozniacki.

Pliskova is also attempting to reach her seventh quarter final the season, but her first since she won the Rome title last month. Those quarter finals were coming more frequently at the beginning of the year, as she made at least the last eight in her first five tournaments in excellent start to 2019, winning Brisbane, bagging a runner-up finish in Miami, reaching semi-finals at the Australian Open and then quarter finals in Dubai and Indian Wells. However, the Czech has reached the quarter finals just once in the five tournaments since that opening spell. That once was a big one though, as she claimed her biggest clay-court title in Rome. 

Pliskova's Rome success suggested that she could make a deep run at Roland Garros, like she did in 2017, when she made the semi-finals, but she was easily beaten by Petra Martic in the third round, extending her search for a maiden major. That quest next goes to Wimbledon, where Pliskova, surprisingly is yet to make any meaningful impact. The former world No. 1 opened her grass court season in Birmingham last week, but her stay was brief as she fell to twin sister, Kristyna in a final set tie break in the second round.

After a first round bye in Eastbourne, the 27-year-old took out Margarita Gasparyan in her tournament opener, seeing off the dangerous Russian, who had beaten her in their only previous meeting back in 2016. A solid performance featured 6 aces, and a 76% conversion rate on her first serves, while she constantly kept Gasparyan under pressure, especially in the second set, carving out 11 break points and converting four in the 6-3 6-3 victory.

She faces a tough one on Wednesday, as she takes on the very dangerous Mertens in the third round.

Mertens is looking to reach consecutive grass-court quarter finals, after making the last eight in Mallorca last week (she beat Andrea Petkovic and Sam Stosur, but was taken out in three sets by Kenin).

The Belgian has put together a couple of quality results this week, beating Monica Puig 6-4 7-6 in the first round, and defeating French Open finalist, Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 5-7 6-2 in the second round on Tuesday. She probably should have closed out Vondrousova a lot earlier as she led 6-1 5-3, but she lost four games in a row from there as Vondrousova forced a deciding set. Mertens got the early break in the final set for a 2-0 lead, and after saving a break back point in the next game, she controlled the match from there, breaking again to finish off the contest, and record back-to-back main draw wins for the first time on grass.

After a fine 2018, during which she broke into the top-20 and peaked at No. 12, Mertens had a solid start to the 2019 season, reaching the quarter finals in Sydney and the third round at the Australian Open, but she exploded into life in Doha, where she defeated top-ten stars, Kiki Bertens, Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep in consecutive matches to claim the biggest title of her career.

There was a bit of a hangover after Doha, as she made just one quarter final- Rabat- in her next ten tournaments. Her post-Doha struggles included opening round defeats in Dubai, Charleston, Stuttgart, Madrid, Rome and s-Hertogenbosch, where she was lost to Ekaterina Alexandrova in her first grass court match of the season.

She got off the mark on grass in Mallorca, reaching the quarter finals, and she will seek another quarter final berth when she plays Pliskova in Eastbourne on Wednesday.

It's a tough one for Pliskova, as Mertens, when she is on her game, is a solid, organized player, capable of generating plenty of pace off the ground. Generating pace is Pliskova's forte, and while she may not have things all her way, I think she will be just too powerful for Mertens, who isn't playing as well as she was in the early parts of the season.

Karolina Pliskova vs Elise Mertens is live from Eastbourne on Wednesday, 26 June from 12:30pm local time/ 12:30pm BST


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Pliskova vs Mertens WTA Eastbourne Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Pliskova and Mertens meet for the first time with Eastbourne quarter final on the line

Karolina Pliskova and Elise Mertens meet for the first time in the third round of the Eastbourne International on Wednesday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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