The 2019 Nature Valley Classic hosted the highly-anticipated first ever WTA main-draw meeting of twins Karolina and Kristyna Pliskova and the much lower ranked sister emerged victorious this time.
The world No.112 Kristyna edged her third-ranked sister 6-2 3-6 7-6(7), firing 24 aces, the most in a WTA match this season, to her ace queen sister’s nine in the encounter that lasted one hour and 55 minutes.
The left-handed Kristyna dominated the first set against Karolina, sealing it with an ace, but in the second set Karolina needed just one break point to earn a decisive break that took the match into the third set, in which the right-handed sister recovered from 1-4 down to force a decisive tiebreak.
Kristyna’s first match point came when Karolina made a double fault at 6-5 in the tiebreak and even though Kristyna wasted it by missing both her first and second serves, Karolina double-faulted again and on the second opportunity Kristyna earned the first Top 5 victory of her career. How untimely Karolina’s double faults were — in the entire match she made just three and two of those three handed her opponent match points.
Kristyna was not absolutely superior only in the number of aces, she also had a better break point conversion percentage and hit almost twice as many winners as her sister, 49 to 25.
The Pliskova twins have met nine total times in main draw matches across all levels and Kristyna now leads their head-to-head 5-4. Their only previous meeting at a WTA tournament was the 2013 Eastbourne qualifying.
After going through Birmingham qualifying, beating Viktoriya Tomova in the first round and Karolina Pliskova in the second, Kristyna Pliskova is now in the Nature Valley Classic quarterfinals where she’ll face compatriot Barbora Strycova.