By Ros Satar, in Singapore

  • Petra Kvitova [4] v Karolina Pliskova [7]
  • H2H: Kvitova leads 3-0
SINGAPORE – Petra Kvitova faces Fed Cup team mate Karolina Pliskova for her spot in the knock out stages of the WTA Finals in a must win scenario.

 

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Petra Kvitova [4] v Karolina Pliskova [7] | H2H: Kvitova leads 3-0

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The challenge is on for the Czech No. 1 Petra Kvitova when she meets her Fed Cup team mate Karolina Pliskova. In a week’s time they will be on the same side battling against the USA for an 11th Fed Cup title overall and a sixth with the successful Czech pool we have today.

However, that all goes out the window as we turn our head towards the fun of the advancement scenarios for the White group.

 

Svitolina in 2 Svitolina in 3 Wozniacki in 2 Wozniacki in 3
Kvitova in 2 1 – Svitolina

2 – Kvitova

1 – Wozniacki

2 – Svitolina

Kvitova in 3 1 – Svitolina

2 – Pliskova

Pliskova in 2 1 – Svitolina

2 – Pliskova

1 – Pliskova

2 – Wozniacki

1 – Plsikova

2- Svitolina

Pliskova in 3 1 – Svitolina

2 – Pliskova

Kvitova has to win in straight sets AND must rely on Elina Svitolina winning in any number of sets to come out of the group. Her first match saw Svitolina finally snap a seven-match losing streak against her, but she had remained positive overall after the match.

She said, after the first match: “I think I didn’t play that bad, as the score looked like, but I did have those chances when I had like 30-Love on her serve. I just couldn’t make it. Those two, three games, was probably kind of key to break it or turn it around. I was just not able to do that.

“She served pretty well in those times, as well, but I think that she really played very consistent. She didn’t give me anything for free. It was pretty difficult to have those winners. Of course, that I make some easy mistakes, but it’s just part of my game. I knew that I have to go forward, to play more aggressive. I tried a few volleys, which I think was probably good today. So maybe I could go more often to the net.

“But overall, yeah, wasn’t the best start, but the good thing is that there is still a chance to play better and to improve and maybe go somewhere forward.”

Her second match against defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was a more complicated affair, with Kvitova coming back at the Dane after dropping the first set but looking very fatigued as she faded away in the decider.

Kvitova said: “I’m tired right now (smiling), more tired than after my first match, definitely. I think the third set, the beginning, she just took it probably a little bit better from the beginning of the third set, which obviously we had a lot of long rallies, and unfortunately, I couldn’t make the kind of those points on my side.

“But definitely I played better than the first match, for sure. I find a way to fight, which is best probably in the end of the season. And, yeah, whatever has happened happened, and I should just look forward for the next one.”

Having been one of the most consistent players this season, Kvitova finds herself on a four-match losing streak since Wuhan with an opening loss in Beijing and now two losses here. She has not lost five matches in a row since 2010, when she lost six matches on the bounce between Wimbledon to the US open.

However, in her favour she has won 27 out of 28 matches against her fellow countrywomen, a record which goes back to 2012 Madrid. There was one victory for a Pliskova, but it was for Kristyna Pliskova this year in Charleston. Her twin may well ask for advice as she has only taken Kvitova to three sets at a tour level once.

Karolina Pliskova in the first round robin match of the WTA Finals 2018, Singapore

Karolina Pliskova in the first round robin match of the WTA Finals 2018, Singapore | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

Pliskova’s serving is probably her biggest weapon against Kvitova – both have good serves but the edge would have to go to Kvitova who won her opening match against Wozniacki. She can also advance with a 1-2 record today if she loses in three sets together with a Svitolina win. Any kind of win for Pliskova with any result from the other match sees her through.

While she has improved her movement, she can still be reluctant to shift for balls, but when she does come forward at the net she can be very effective. That, coupled with Kvitova looking to come forward more could make this quite a tense encounter.

Kvitova seems most proud of her standing over the other Czech players and you have to think she will be up for this, but it could be that she drops a set, and thus is out of the running.

Prediction: Pliskova in three sets.

 

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