It is safe to say we did not see the best of Watson at the start of the season – a single win so far in Abu Dhabi, but she will be looking to snap a two-match losing streak this season, against Pliskova, who has only had one outing this year, accounting for the stats.
Watson at her best plays a solid all-around game, able to mix up defence with attack and over the years has worked on being a lot more aggressive.
The ‘other’ Pliskova actually is not a carbon copy of her sister in every aspect, especially in their game play. Both of course have strong serves, but Pliskova does not try and finish points off quickly and has worked hard to try and stay in the points.
A year ago, they met in the exact same round, and Watson worked well to come back from a set down to win. If she gets off to a slow start, she may find herself having to do the same, but her movement around the court is key, and she will have to try and capitalise on that.
Prediction: Watson in three sets
Watson and Pliskova are scheduled second on Court 10, not before 1pm (2am GMT)
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