Date: 12 November 2021
Tournament: Akron WTA Finals 2021
Round: Round robin (Group Teotihuacán)
Venue: Guadalajara, Mexico
Category: Year-ending championships
Prize money: $5,000,000
Match timing: 2.00 pm local time, 8.00 pm GMT, 1.30 am IST
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK – Amazon Prime Video
Anett Kontaveit vs Karolina Pliskova preview
Red-hot Anett Kontaveit will lock horns with third seed Karolina Pliskova on Friday, with the winner potentially bagging a spot in the semifinals of the WTA Finals.
Both players won their respective openers on Wednesday, and the outcome of their encounter on Friday is crucial in determining which two players will advance to the last four from Group Teotihuacán.
Kontaveit had a dream debut at the WTA Finals. The Estonian, who has won four of her last seven tournaments, breezed past reigning French Open champion Barbora Krejicikova 6-3, 6-4 to extend her winning streak to 11 matches.
Another straight-sets win against Pliskova on Friday would guarantee her a berth in the last four of the prestigious season-ending event.
But that’s easier said than done. Kontaveit has never beaten Karolina Pliskova before and would need to produce immaculate tennis to topple the Wimbledon runner-up.
Pliskova, meanwhile, was involved in a thriller in her opening round-robin match against Garbine Muguruza on Wednesday. The Czech needed four match points to close out a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(6) win over the resilient Spaniard in two hours and 26 minutes.
The former World No. 1, who has bounced back after a poor start to the season, will take plenty of confidence from that win as she prepares to take on the in-form Kontaveit.
Anett Kontaveit vs Karolina Pliskova head-to-head
Karolina Pliskova has a flawless 3-0 lead over Anett Kontaveit in their head-to-head, with just one meeting going the distance. However, the two haven’t faced off since the Canadian Open in 2019.
Anett Kontaveit vs Karolina Pliskova prediction
Considering her dominant head-to-head record over Anett Kontaveit and her experience at the WTA Finals, Karolina Pliskova is the favorite on paper.
But Kontaveit has made a mockery of all her opponents in the past few weeks, playing with a courage and conviction not often seen before. The Estonian has been striking the ball with a lot of confidence and playing without fear. She also appears to have adjusted well to the tricky conditions in Guadalajara.
Her serve worked beautifully against Krejcikova; she produced eight aces, lost just four points on her first serve and did not face a single break point. Kontaveit’s serve will be critical against Pliskova, who also possesses a huge first serve.
Pliskova, too, struck eight aces against Muguruza but she also sprayed nine double faults. She cannot afford to be so lax on her second serve against Kontaveit, who won’t hesitate to pounce.
Fatigue may also come into play if the match goes the distance. The Estonian is the fresher of the two players, having spent an hour and 11 minutes less than Pliskova on the court in her opener. That might just give her the edge in this contest.
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Prediction: Anett Kontaveit to win in three sets.