Expected Points, June 17: Pliskova. Pegula. Again.


Anticipated Factors, my new quick, day by day podcast, highlights three numbers for instance stats, traits, and fascinating trivia across the sport.

Up at this time: Karolina Pliskova opens the grass courtroom season in opposition to her least favourite opponent, Richard Gasquet holds a novel Challenger-level profitable streak, and it’s been 60 years since Margaret Courtroom began profitable titles in Britain.

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Tough transcript of at this time’s episode:

The primary quantity is 4, the variety of occasions Karolina Pliskova and Jessica Pegula have drawn one another at WTA occasions this 12 months. After Pegula destroyed Pliskova in Doha in 60 minutes, Czech followers had good cause to say subsequent time can be completely different. The next week, Pegula gained even quicker. Later that very same month, the 2 confronted off in Miami, the place Pliskova got here nearer to holding her personal, however nonetheless misplaced in three. These three top-ten wins for Pegula are an enormous a part of why Pliskova not has a single-digit rating. However this time—on the grass in Berlin—would possibly actually be completely different. The Czech former primary is without doubt one of the greatest gamers on turf, rating fourth within the Tennis Summary Elo scores for the floor. The final time the WTA performed on grass, she gained 10 straight units for an Eastbourne title, and adopted it up with a fourth-round exhibiting at Wimbledon. Pegula, however, had by no means gained a tour-level main-draw match on grass earlier than advancing as a result of retirement on Tuesday. Assuming Pliskova’s reminiscence of her drubbings in March isn’t too vivid, she ought to lastly file a win in opposition to the pesky American.

Our second quantity is 12, Richard Gasquet’s present match profitable streak on the Challenger degree. Successful a dozen matches in a row isn’t that unusual—it’s simply two titles then a quarter-final in a 3rd occasion. What makes Gasquet’s run uncommon is that it began in 2010. He gained the Bordeaux Challenger that 12 months, performed one other in Szczecin in 2017, and has returned this week in Nottingham. The present event has but to supply a lot in the best way of competitors. He’s misplaced a median of three video games per set, and tomorrow’s quarter-final will give him a third-straight opponent ranked exterior the highest 150. But a powerful week right here might give him momentum that may carry over to a tour-level occasion. After profitable Bordeaux 11 years in the past, he went straight to the ATP tourney in Good, the place he gained one other title. If nothing else, a semi-final might spotlight simply how lengthy Gasquet has excelled on the Challenger tour. One doable opponent is the younger Anton Matusevich, who was born in 2001. A 12 months later, Gasquet made his Challenger debut, profitable the primary event he performed, just a few weeks after his sixteenth birthday.

Immediately’s third and ultimate quantity is 60, the variety of years in the past at this time since Margaret Courtroom gained her first grass courtroom title exterior of Australia. Then single and often called Margaret Smith, she made her first abroad journey in 1961. She started on the clay-court Riviera circuit within the spring, profitable 4 titles and 22 straight matches earlier than Maria Bueno stopped her in Turin. After Roland Garros and a semi-final exhibiting on grass in Manchester, the 18-year-old Courtroom proved that her Australian Open title that 12 months wasn’t a fluke from down below. In Beckenham, she gained her first British title, beating Karen Hantze, Ann Haydon, and Christine Truman within the ultimate three rounds. The Truman match, determined at 8-6 within the third set, was an indication of issues to return: The ladies would meet once more within the fourth spherical of Wimbledon, after Courtroom had gained one other title at Queen’s Membership. Within the rematch, the veteran gained, as Truman took it, 9-7 within the third. It could be two extra years earlier than Courtroom gained a Wimbledon title, however after her exhibiting in 1961, there was little doubt that the younger Australian was top-of-the-line gamers on the planet.


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