Kicking off the US Open on Arthur Ashe Stadium is the Women’s No.1 seed in Karolina Pliskova. The Czech takes on Anhelina Kalinina for a spot in the second round, hoping for a comfortable start to a run that see her lives up to her spot in the rankings. Pliskova was a finalist in 2016 but has not been back to a final of a slam since then, with two semi finals her best performances since.
Watch the Pliskova vs Kalinina Live Stream Here.
Kalinina is one of the beneficiaries of the many withdrawals, making the draw despite her current ranking being outside the top 140. She has been a solid fixture inside the top 200 in the past 3 years but has not yet been able to make a breakthrough, hovering between WTA qualifiers and higher level ITF tournaments. It won’t be her first time playing a top player at a slam, having pushed Sloane Stephens to three sets in the second round in New York two years ago.
Pliskova’s return to the tour was fairly disappointing with a loss to Veronika Kudermertova in straight sets at the Western & Southern Open event. A deep run would have put her in a good frame of mind for the event where expectations will be high for her as the top seed. While still clearly one of the top players on tour, the Czech would probably be considered as one of the most fragile players and an early loss, perhaps not to Kalinina, would not be all that surprising. She will be eager to set the tone for the rest of the tournament and a comfortable win over a lowly opponent should allow her to gain more confidence ahead of tougher matches.
Prediction – Karolina Pliskova in straight sets