Vandeweghe’s Shoulder Injury Has Healed

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, UAE

[CR14] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) vs. [CR46] Coco Vandeweghe (USA)

They’ve played each other twice before and their head-to-head was tied 1:1.  Pliskova a top ten player when they first met in 2013 destroyed Vandeweghe in two easy sets.  Their second encounter was in 2015 at Wimbledon and Vandeweghe extracted revenge in straight sets. Pliskova as the higher ranked player was guaranteed victory against Vandeweghe, since she was ranked higher the last time they met and she lost.  Confidence was the key to this match.  Vandeweghe is feeling more confident now that her shoulder injury has healed while Pliskova has been struggling to find her top ten form.

Vandeweghe has the weapons to challenge anyone and has proven that she can; however, the question remains whether she is fully engaged mentally in the match.  She tends to check out during matches and wildly spray balls as she goes for ill-advised winners.  I was rather pleased to see her thinking through the majority of her shot selections today.  She got sharper after she won the first set and once she broke Pliskova early in the second set, the match was essentially over.  Pliskova’s will to fight for the match was broken  after she lost the close first set in the tiebreak and going down an early break in the second set sealed her fate.  Pliskova will lose valuable ranking points since she was a finalist here last year. Vandeweghe with the 7-6(5), 6-1 victory moves on to the second round to play Kristina Mladenovic.

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