New Haven R2: (5) Karolina Pliskova vs (Q) Olga Savchuk
Karolina Pliskova and Olga Savchuk kick-start proceedings on Wednesday at the Connecticut Open. The draw has really opened up for Pliskova this week after the withdrawal of Simona Halep, a meeting with Lesia Tsurenko awaits the winner of this match in the quarter-finals. Pliskova couldn't ask for an easier passage into the semi-finals of a premier event.
Karolina Pliksova made a strong start to her U.S Open series campaign, making the final in Stanford before succumbing to Angelique Kerber in a tight final. However Pliskova suffered disappointing early exits in Toronto and Cincinnati. The manner in which Pliskova lost those matches was concerning, giving up a significant lead on both occasions (losing to Lucic-Baroni in Toronto and Jankovic in Cincinnati).
Pliskova made a sluggish start to her Connecticut campaign on Monday night, finding herself a set and break down against Polona Hercog. Pliskova was somehow able to grind out a victory, emerging victorious 2-6 7-6 6-2. It’s not too important for Pliskova to win a lot of matches this week, the U.S Open will be her number 1 priory. Pliskova went on deep runs before the Australian Open and Wimbledon and looked a little burnt out mid-way through the Grand Slams.
Olga Savchuk’s run to the second round in New Haven has been the Ukrainian’s best result of the season. Olga reached the main draw through the qualies and advanced to the second round courtesy of Olga Govortsova retiring late in the third set of their opening round match.
In their only previous encounter Karolina Pliskova smashed Olga Savchuk 6-1 6-2 in Montreal last year. This is a very good draw for Pliskova, as easy as it comes in the second round of a premier event. Pliskova may not be too desperate to win the title this week and her mind may be elsewhere but she will certainly be good enough to come through this match, even if she is in second gear.