Karolina Pliskova will get her opportunity to open Centre Court after all, beginning Day 4’s session against Katie Boulter. The Czech was seen as one of the options as last year’s losing finalist only for World No.1 Iga Swiatek to get the assignment. Pliskova’s form remains inconsistent but as one of the few players with a grass pedigree, she has to be considered a contender.
Pliskova was one of the players who did not get a good deal from the scheduling, having had to begin her match after 9pm on Tuesday. She was unable to get it done before the curfew but did not need much time on Wednesday to close out the 7-6 7-5 win. She will be eager to improve on her serving performance having hit more double faults than aces in the win (8-7).
Boulter built on a strong Eastbourne with a solid performance against Clara Burel in round one, dropping serve just once in the 7-5 6-3 victory. While she will not benefit from any run here in terms of points, her ranking continues to have a very positive trajectory following her return to full fitness. Ranked inside the top 100 pre-COVID, it only seems like a matter of time before she is back there and better.
Having beaten Pliskova in Eastbourne just last week, Boulter will have big hopes of a repeat especially with the Centre Court crowd behind her. How she deals with the pressure will indicate a lot about how this match turns out. Pliskova had ran away with the first set, taking it 6-1 before falling to defeat. With more at stake, giving the match away from such a position a second time round seems much more unlikely.
Prediction – Karolina Pliskova in three sets