Riske is coming off her best career season and has been on a tear since September, racking up wins against the likes of Elina Svitolina, Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber, Garbine Muguruza and Wang Qiang. She has barely broken a sweat so far in 2020, dispatching both Karolina Muchova and Barbora Strycova in straight sets. After receiving a bye, Pliskova had to work much harder in her 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1 victory over Ajla Tomjlanovic in the second round.
While she hasn’t been able to score a WTA-level win over Pliskova (Riske defeated Pliskova in 2012 at a 50K tournament), she has been inching closer and closer each time. Five of their last eight sets have ended in a tiebreaker and she held two match points before succumbing at Tokyo in 2018.
For the longest time, Riske's UTR rating was substantially higher compared to her WTA singles ranking. Was husband Stephen Amritraj, the Chief Tennis Officer at UTR, manipulating the data? Negative. UTR just happened to be several months ahead of schedule in pinpointing the American's standing in the game.
It’s tough to pick against someone with a perfect WTA record over her opponent, but repeating the same outcome is extremely difficult, no matter the sport. Both players will bring their hyper-aggressive style to the court, but look for Riske to continue her torrid run in Brisbane, exacting some much needed revenge against the huge-hitting Czech.
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