WTA Moscow: Safarova, Pennetta and Pliskova all in action on a busy Wednesday

SafarovaThe Race to Singapore is still on (sobbing) after Karolina Pliskova and Carla Suárez Navarro both won on Tuesday. Pliskova saved two match points (!) against Alexandra Dulgheru, 6-4 5-7 7-6(7) to keep her slim hopes of qualifying for Singapore alive. Pliskova was a break up in the second and third sets, but then found herself down in the third set tiebreak. The match had a peculiar ending with Dulgheru unaware of the score having missed Alison Hughes’s overrule on the previous point. I have no idea how Pliskova is still standing up, but credit to her for somehow fighting through that match. Despite the win, I find it hard to believe that Pliskova has much left in the tank and she will have to play every day up to Saturday’s final. Even if she were to qualify for Singapore, she would be in no fit state to compete. Next up is the qualifier, Anastasija Sevastova.

Suárez Navarro did well to beat Dominika Cibulkova for the first time, 6-4 7-5 and advance into the quarter-finals. It wasn’t a pretty match though with 36 winners to 77 unforced errors. Carla had a shocker trying to serve it out the first time (ending on a double fault) but got there in the end with Cibulkova largely error-strewn, particularly on return. I had a clean sweep of correct predictions in the first round but the golden draw was shattered in style by Carla’s win haha!

Moscow

The seven remaining second round matches in Moscow will all be played on Wednesday with the top two seeds, Flavia Pennetta and Lucie Safarova, playing their first matches of the week. The number one seed, Pennetta will play Daria Gavrilova, who edged Alizé Cornet in the first round, 3-6 6-3 7-5 in two hours and 52 minutes. It was a match that kept WTA Reactions busy on Twitter and lived up to its potential billing…

This will be a first career match-up between Pennetta and Gavrilova. Dasha’s recovery from playing singles and doubles will be key as she has shown signs of tiredness in her last few tournaments after a long year. However, if she’s up for it, I think she might take this one. Although she will be eager to secure her place in Singapore, Pennetta’s results have (understandably) been all over the place since New York. She lost her first match in Tianjin to Lyudmila Kichenok

Safarova plays last week’s champion in Linz and good friend, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian player won her first round match in the lovely scoreline of 7-5 0-6 6-4 against Monica Niculescu. Pavs has had some excellent results indoors and is currently on a six match winning streak. However, I think Lucie would have favoured this match-up compared to Monica who she had only won three games against in two previous matches. Still, it’s a tough one either way!

The last time the pair played was at the French Open and it was a match that I endured live (hahaha)… it was a really entertaining match but as I was rooting for Lucie, it was a stressful watch! They are currently at opposite ends of the spectrum; Pavs will be tired from playing a lot of tennis, while Lucie will be lacking sharpness and match play after she played her first match in over a month last week in Linz. I hope Lucie gets a match out of it, even if it ends in defeat, and Pavs doesn’t retire hurt. I’d probably give the benefit of the doubt to Pavs based on her recent form and prowess indoors. I hope Lucie can show an improvement from last week in Linz and if she can push it to three sets, she may be able to take advantage of weary legs.

4 thoughts on “WTA Moscow: Safarova, Pennetta and Pliskova all in action on a busy Wednesday

  1. Pliskova should have gone out. Must be really tired because she was outplayed from what I watched against Dulgheru. But she got it done when it mattered most. And Cibulkova did not disappoint in her ability to choke as the favorite. Uggh,

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