Women’s Australian Open, R3 Preview for Saturday: Karolina Pliskova v Ekaterina Makarova

Makarova

In a repeat third round match from last year’s Australian Open, Karolina Pliskova will once again be attempting to reach the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time when she plays Ekaterina Makarova. Pliskova has reached the third round of a Grand Slam twice but is yet to make that elusive breakthrough into a fourth round. While she had a superb 2015 season, Pliskova struggled to peak for the big events and has lost before the third round at the last three Slams.

After a routine first round win against the Australian wildcard, Kimberly Birrell, Pliskova faced much tougher opposition in the second round against Julia Goerges; the Czech player prevailed, 7-6(5) 6-1. There was little to call between the pair in the first set which was fittingly decided on the tiebreak. Pliskova missed a set point at 6-4 with Goerges crunching away a return winner, but the German player double faulted on the second set point. Pliskova flew through the second set, snapping Goerges’s resistance.

Makarova, aka the Bourne-GOAT, is once again in the third round at the Australian Open. The Russian player hasn’t fallen before the third round since in Melbourne since 2010 and was a semi-finalist here last year. Furthermore, she’s reached this stage of a Grand Slam 11 out of the last 12 times demonstrating how reliable she is at defeating lower ranked players. Makarova has won her first two matches in straight sets, beating Maddison Inglis (6-3 6-0) and Tatjana Maria (6-4 6-2).

Head-to-head record: Makarova leads Pliskova in their head-to-head, 2-0, with victories in Pattaya City (6-3 7-6(7), 2014) and Melbourne (6-4 6-4, 2015)

Analysis: This is another huge clash with the winner being the heavy favourite to reach the quarter-finals. As mentioned above, Pliskova will be looking to break new ground and having suffered the disappointment of losing to Makarova at this same stage last year, she will no doubt be hungry for success. She’s also playing pretty well and was in decent form to get past Goerges in straight sets. Pliskova’s probably the favourite despite the head-to-head record but Makarova continues to float under the radar. While she’s coming back from injury and hasn’t been as consistent as she was say a year ago, her game is solid in pretty much every department. I think this will be much closer than their match last year but I find myself still giving the nod with Makarova to prevail.

Prediction: Makarova d. Pliskova in 3 sets

Photo in this post by mootennis.com

14 thoughts on “Women’s Australian Open, R3 Preview for Saturday: Karolina Pliskova v Ekaterina Makarova

  1. Pliskova wasn’t in good form against Goerges, her serve wasn’t performing and she struggled to string points. Furthermore I feel like she had more game here last year, when she was willing to slice and move to the net. I feel like now she’s happy to serve big and take swings from the baseline.
    I havent watched Makarova play this year but those scores indicate she’s up for another good run. Her and Radwanska seem to be shaping up to be real dark horse contenders now.

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    • It’s interesting being twins and all, Kristýna Plíšková was able to cram 31 record aces into her match against Puig. Her serve has been working mighty well. But alas, she still lost. As she said herself post match..“I wish I hit 20 and won the match,” .. Not a record she’ll be fond of. I guess it is safe to infer that Karolina does the other things better, slightly mentally stronger I think. I feel her current form is partially due to fatigue. She’s been working hard for a while now.

      I feel Makarova will edge this, but Ekaterina had a difficult time with Belinda when she dug in in their last tournament. Pliskova has more weapons should she choose to dig in( mentally) and fight.

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      • The funny thing about serving records is that several have been made by the match loser. Such as Lisicki’s speed record…

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  2. Radwanska has no chance to win. If Puig has more experiences, she already lost tonight.

    I think Makarova is a bad match up for Pliskova. She will send the balls to both end to make Pliskova runs like hell.

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  3. Konta d. Allertova in 3 sets – I think Allertova will defeat Konta in 2 or 3 sets. Allertova, Cibulkova, Bencic and Qiang Wang have one similarity is redirect the balls to both ends of the court. They had beaten Konta.

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  4. Pliskova was not at her very best in lat match.Unless she improves it drastically i can’t see her surpass the experience of Makarova.Makarova in 3 sets.

    Konta will be having more confidence and is a better player on this surface compared to Allertova.She will try to make the H to H 1-1.Revenge game.

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    • Am I the only one who thinks Allertova could take this? She has a really fun game- the trademark Czech big shot making combined with great court coverage and defence skills.

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      • I watched Allertova match the other day. I don’t think Konta hits harder than Lisicki. Konta will struggle if they counter punch each other. I think her defence skills and volleys are decent. Based on Konta performance (Venus’s match is an outlier) in this tournament. I will take Allertova.

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  5. Makarova has made the second week in Melbourne every year since 2010, holds a 2-0 head to head lead but why do I feel it will all count for nothing? Pliskova has to make the second week of a major sooner or later. I really hope Makarova wins she has been surprisingly consistent at the slams over the last couple of years but this Pliskova will do it.

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  6. Makarova just too good for Pliskova,she is a tall girl,actually I have spoken to her at Sydney tournament,she is delightful,still her movement is questionable,also at times I feel in the ‘big points’ she lacks the focus which is needed.Well done Makarova!

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    • Hmm when I saw almost everyone going for Makarova and I felt confident she would prevail, I was starting to think Pliskova might do it! Obviously not though, that’s a comprehensive scoreline. Makarova just loves the AO 🙂

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      • Once again, Pliskova was poorly at a slam. Have to consider whether she is overrated. Can’t see her in Top 15 much longer…
        Makarova should reach SF now.

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