Top seed Karolina Pliskova must find her feet quickly against Anhelina Kalinina if she is to avoid her first opening-round…
Top seed Karolina Pliskova must find her feet quickly against Anhelina Kalinina if she is to avoid her first opening-round defeat at the US Open since 2015.
US Open 2020 | 31 August-13 September | Women's singles
Karolina Pliskova vs Anhelina Kalinina | US Open R1 | 31/8/2020 17.00 BSTOver 18.5 games 6/5 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Pliskova vs Kalinina is live from New York on Monday 31 August, 12pm local/5pm BST
The last time Karolina Pliskova lost in the first round of the US Open, it came at the hands of qualifier Anna Tatishvili in 2015. Since then, the Czech has made the final once, the quarterfinals twice and, in 2019, the round of 16.
Pliskova has rarely approached the US Open with so little match practice, however – she has played just one match since February, and lost it in straight sets. Can she stamp her authority on world no. 145 Anhelina Kalinina?
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
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Pliskova vs Kalinina: Head-to-head
This is the first meeting between Pliskova and Kalinina.
Pliskova vs Kalinina: Preview
World no. 3 Pliskova is the only WTA top-10 player based outside of the USA to travel for the two-tournament US Open swing, and she has been rewarded with the top seeding – the second time she’s lead the field at a major (the first time was at the 2017 US Open, when she reached the quarterfinals).
Pliskova’s most consistent majors are the Australian and US Opens, and New York was the location for her so-far only run to a Grand Slam final, when she beat Venus and Serena Williams to make the title match only to lose to Angelique Kerber.
Pliskova could have to contend with Kerber this year, too, as well as with the in-form Jennifer Brady. But first the Czech has to get through the first round – not as simple a prospect as you might usually expect. Pliskova started 2020 with an excellent run to her sixteenth WTA singles title in Brisbane, but was knocked out of the Australian Open in the third round then failed to win back-to-back matches in Dubai and Doha. Since the latter tournament at the end of February, Pliskova has played just one match: At the Western & Southern Open last week, where she lost 5-7, 4-6 to Veronika Kudermetova.
World no. 41 Kudermetova, who had two previous wins over top-10 players, was a more intimidating prospect than Anhelina Kalenina, Pliskova’s opponent on Monday – but it’s still not great preparation.
Ukraine’s Kalenina wasn’t far off breaking into the top 100 at the end of 2018, a season which saw her reach the second round of the US Open as a qualifier, but she lost in the first round of qualifying in 2019 and took a hit in the rankings. Currently ranked world no. 145, Kalenina made the final of the $100k Midland ITF tournament earlier in the year, but she hasn’t played since the WTA Tour resumed, so she’s even rustier than Pliskova.
Kalenina’s solitary match against a top-10 player came against Sloane Stephens, then the defending champion, at the US Open in 2018 and I remember being really impressed with her ballstriking – she came very close to defeating Stephens before falling 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. The Ukrainian has nothing to lose, and I think she can turn in a good performance against Pliskova, pushing the match to a decent scoreline if not a third set, while the Czech adjusts to competition – and an empty Arthur Ashe Stadium – once more.