WTA Mutua Madrid Open 2021: Coco Gauff vs Karolina Pliskova Preview; Head-to-Head and Prediction

Published 04/29/2021, 5:38 PM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 20: Coco Gauff of the United States of America plays a backhand during her Women’s Singles first round match against Venus Williams of the United States of America on day one of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)


Coco Gauff, the teenage American sensation who shot to fame after defeating Venus Williams in her main draw debut at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships, has given consistent performances in the last two years.

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She has managed to defeat top players like Naomi Osaka, Kiki Bertens, Jelena Ostapenko, and Jennifer Brady in her short career and is proving to be the face of American women’s tennis post-Serena Williams. 

Coco Gauff of the United States celebrates after winning match point during her Women’s Singles third round match against Naomi Osaka of Japan day five of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The young American managed to reach the semi-finals of the Great Ocean Road Open at Melbourne this year, where she lost to Belinda Bencic in three sets. It was her best result so far. 

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On the other hand, Karolina Pliskova, who recently lost to Ashleigh Barty in the quarter-finals of the Stuttgart Open, is looking for a deep run on the clay-court season this year. 

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WTA Mutua Madrid Open 2021: Coco Gauff vs Karolina Pliskova Preview

Pliskova, who reached the US Open final in 2016, is yet to win a Grand Slam. With her strong baseline game, she has able to capture memorable victories but always falls short of the finish line.  

Karolina Pliskova of The Czech Republic celebrates a point in the finals match against Madison Keys of the USA during day seven of the 2020 Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena on January 12, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Her semi-final defeat to Naomi Osaka in the 2019 Australian Open is an example of how tough it is for Pliskova to finish the match, especially on her serve. 

Coming to Gauff, the youngster has an aggressive spirit on display on-court, and she likes to take her chances as and when they arrive. The American is known to hit incredible baseline winners from both the wings. She also displayed her brilliance at the net when she made her debut against Venus Williams at Wimbledon

If one was to compare both the players, Pliskova is more conventional and likes to stick to the baseline, whereas Gauff looks to dominate and is always willing to take the ball on the rise. 

In other words, Pliskova’s game is tailor-made for clay courts, and Gauff’s game suits the hard and grass courts better. Also, it is important to note that the young American is yet to make her mark on the red turf. 

Head-to-Head

This matchup marks their first meeting on the WTA tour. 

WTA Mutua Madrid Open 2021: Coco Gauff vs Karolina Pliskova Prediction

The experience of the Czech on clay gives her a sure-shot advantage over Gauff. While the American is expected to give a tough fight, it will be a mammoth task for the youngster to defeat an experienced campaigner like Pliskova on clay.

But Pliskova tends to falter on her serve during crucial moments in a match. If Gauff can take hold of this opportunity, she could produce a massive upset early on in the tournament.

 The Czech likes to toil with her opponents on the baseline, hitting the ball from corner to corner. Doing this, she wears out the opponent and forces them to make an error. With Gauff’s limited experience on the red dirt, one can only expect the youngster to fall prey to this tactic by Pliskova. 

The match will also be a test of Gauff’s patience, as she will have a lot of running to do. If she maintains a high level of shot-making during longer rallies, Pliskova will make an error or two, and this could create an opening for Gauff to put pressure on the Czech. 

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For Gauff, this will be an important match in her young career as she looks to build a strong foundation on clay courts. As far as Pliskova is concerned, she doesn’t have to deviate from her usual playing style. The Czech player is ensured of a victory if she gets the basics right. 

Final Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to win in straight sets 

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Sagar Ashtakoula

92 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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