Simona Halep vs Karolina Pliskova, Australian Open QF Preview

Australian Open πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί Quarter-Final Preview
πŸ‡·πŸ‡΄ (1) Simona Halep vs πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ώ (6) Karolina Pliskova

The pick of the quarter-final match-ups at Melbourne Park sees the top seeded Simona Halep take on the 6th seeded Karolina Pliskova. Heading into the new year, Halep and Pliskova were two of the main contenders to claim maiden Grand Slam titles. Halep and Pliskova now have the Australian Open title within touching distance, who will step up and take control of this crucial quarter-final clash? It has been Halep who has been fairly dominant in this match-up, the Romanian heads into this match with a 5-2 record over Pliskova. Can the Czech turn things around on Wednesday or will Halep again be too strong?

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Simona Halep has an unbeaten 9-0 record in 2018 after arriving in Melbourne on the back of winning the Shenzhen title. It has been a dramatic week for Halep as she has fought her way into the quarter-final stage at the Australian Open for the third time. The Romanian suffered a major scare in the opening round when she badly rolled her ankle in a tough victory over Destanee Aiava. Halep has been able to manage her ankle injury well, the Romanian’s biggest test came in the third round where she saved match points on route to an epic 4-6 6-4 15-13 victory over Lauren Davis. There were big questions marks around how Halep would recover from that win over Davis, Halep squashed those question marks, producing her best performance of the tournament to beat Naomi Osaka 6-3 6-2 to reach the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam for the 10th time.

Karolina Pliskova is into the Australian Open quarter-final stage for the second time, having reached this stage last year where she was upset by Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. Pliskova was untroubled in her first couple of matches at Melbourne Park, cruising past Veronica Cepede Royg and Beatriz Haddad Maia in straight sets. Pliskova’s last couple of matches were very tough against a pair of Fed Cup teammates. The 6th seed battled past Lucie Safarova 7-6 7-5 in the third round before confirming her spot in the quarter-finals with a 6-7 6-3 6-2 win over Barbora Strycova. Pliskova’s win over Strycova was particularly impressive, after falling behind a set past midnight against a challenging opponent, it seemed like the odds were against Pliskova. However, Pliskova rebounded strongly and dominated the next two sets to claim an important victory.

It is Simona Halep who holds a 5-2 head-to-head record over Pliskova. Halep has won 4 of the 6 meeting between the pair on a hard court and has won their two most recent matches.

Karolina Pliskova vs Kaia Kanepi, Brisbane QF Preview

Brisbane International, Quarter-Final Preview
(2) πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ώ Karolina Pliskova vs (Q) πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ͺ Kaia Kanepi

Karolina Pliskova continues her title defense on Thursday night at the Brisbane International where she takes on Kaia Kanepi at the quarter-final stage. After receiving an opening round bye, Pliskova was dominant in her first match of the tournament, easily beating CiCi Bellis in less than an hour. Pliskova will face a tougher test against the Estonian qualifier who has won 5 matches in Brisbane without dropping a set.

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Karolina Pliskova showed no signs of rust in her opening match of the 2018 season. Pliskova destroyed CiCi Bellis 6-1 6-1 in less than an hour. Pliskova’s serve was on, winning 91% percent of points behind her first serve, Pliskova did not face a break point all match.

2012 Brisbane champion Kaia Kanepi is back into the quarter-finals at one of her favourite events. Kanepi blasted her way through the qualifying draw without dropping a set and has carried that form into the main draw. Kanepi beat Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-2 and Lesia Tsurenko 6-4 6-3. Kanepi has not dropped more 4 games in any set in her 5 matches this week in Brisbane. There are some danger signs for Kanepi who was struggling at times against Tsurenko and called for the trainer, it was a very low quality match.

Pliskova has won both of the previous matches between the pair, both on clay and quite some time ago. Most recently Pliskova beat Kanepi 7-5 6-3 in Katowice.

Karolina Pliskova vs Catherine Bellis, Brisbane R2 Preview

Brisbane International, R2 Preview
(2) πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ώ Karolina Pliskova vs πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Catherine Bellis

Karolina Pliskova will begin her 2018 campaign on Wednesday at the Brisbane International. The 2017 champion will be looking to make another strong start to the season in 2018. The world number 4 should have a decent test of her level from the get go as she takes on Catherine Bellis.

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Karolina Pliskova is the defending champion at the Brisbane International. The Czech made a fast start to 2017, highlighted by her title run at the Brisbane International. Pliskova exceled on hard courts in 2017, winning 39 matches on hard courts, 2nd of all players. Pliskova also had the 2nd highest hard court winning percentage, a 39/12 W/L record on the surface. The quick hard courts in Brisbane are the perfect surface for the big-serving Czech.

Catherine Bellis set up a second round meeting with the defending champion courtesy of a 6-2 7-5 victory over Kateryna Bondarenko. Bellis is one player to keep an eye on in 2018, At number 60 in the world, Bellis will look to cement her spot well inside the top 50 in 2018 and push into the top 30. Bellis is very experienced for an 18-year-old, after a full year on the main tour in 2017, Bellis is poised to rise in 2018.

This will be the first career meeting between Pliskova and Bellis. It will be interesting to see if the young American can push the defending champion in the world number 4’s first match of the year.

Karolina Pliskova vs Caroline Wozniacki, WTA Finals Singapore SF Preview

WTA Finals, πŸ†πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ¦πŸ‰πŸ¨ Singapore Match Preview + Prediction
Semi-Final #1: (3) πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ώ Karolina Pliskova vs (6) πŸ‡©πŸ‡° Caroline Wozniacki

The first semi-final of the 2017 WTA Finals Singapore will be a blockbuster encounter between Karolina Pliskova and Caroline Wozniacki. Pliskova and Wozniacki have had a similar passage to the final four, both cruised through their opening matches in Singapore to confirm their spot in the semi-finals before being defeated in their final group matches.

Pliskova and Wozniacki are familiar foes, having played 8 times, all reasonably recently. It is Wozniacki who holds a 5-3 head-to-head record over Pliskova. However, Pliskova has won 3 of their 5 matches in 2017 and comfortably defeated the Dane in straight sets in their most recent clash in Cincinnati a few months ago.

This looms as an exciting contest between two players with very contrasting games. Who will emerge victorious and became the first finalist in Singapore?

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Karolina Pliskova vs Jelena Ostapenko, Singapore White Group Preview

WTA Finals, πŸ†πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ¦πŸ‰πŸ¨ Singapore Match Preview + Prediction
RR: βšͺ White Group: (3) πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ώ Karolina Pliskova vs (7) πŸ‡±πŸ‡» Jelena Ostapenko

Karolina Pliskova became the first to qualify for the semi-final stage in Singapore when she cruised past Garbine Muguruza 6-2 6-2 on Tuesday evening to go 2-0 in the white group. Conversely, Jelena Ostapenko became the first player to be eliminated from the tournament as she succumbed to Venus Williams in a 3 hour plus epic, relegating the Latvian to a 0-2 record in the white group.

This all means that this white group clash between Pliskova and Ostapenko will be a dead rubber in a sense, however there is still a lot to play for both ladies. With a heap of ranking points still on the line, every win is important for Pliskova in the race for number 1 and she will want to keep her momentum going into the semi-finals with another win here. Whilst Jelena Ostapenko will want to end the best season of her career on a positive note and avoid leaving Singapore without a single victory.

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Garbine Muguruza vs Karolina Pliskova, Singapore White Group Preview

WTA Finals, πŸ†πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ¦πŸ‰πŸ¨ Singapore Match Preview + Prediction
RR: βšͺ White Group: (2) πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ Garbine Muguruza vs (3) πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ώ Karolina Pliskova

Tuesday’s second match from the white group will be a blockbuster affair between two of the favourites in Singapore, Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova. Muguruza and Pliskova both cruised through their opening matches in Singapore and will enter this intriguing clash full of confidence. This has generally been a very good match-up for Pliskova, the Czech holds a 6-2 head-to-head record over the Spaniard and 6-1 record on hard courts. However, the most recent match between the pair ended in a straight set win for Muguruza in Cincinnati earlier this year, can Muguruza win back-to-back matches over Pliskova for the first time?

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Karolina Pliskova vs Venus Williams, Singapore White Group Preview

WTA Finals, πŸ†πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ¦πŸ‰πŸ¨ Singapore Match Preview + Prediction
RR: βšͺ White Group: (3) πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ώ Karolina Pliskova vs (5) πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Venus Williams

Karolina Pliskova and Venus Williams will kickstart what is sure to be a fascinating week in Singapore when they do battle on Sunday in the white group. Karolina Pliskova is competing in Singapore for the second time, the Czech third seed failed to make it past the group stage last year and will be hoping to change that in 2017. Incredibly, Venus Williams first made it to the WTA Finals in 1999, the 2008 champion will be competing at the event for the first time since 2008. The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece, this promises to be another tight clash between two evenly matched competitors. Who will win the first match of the WTA Finals?

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Karolina Pliskova vs CoCo Vandeweghe, U.S Open QF Preview

US Open, πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸŽπŸ—½πŸš• QF Preview + Prediction:
(1) πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ώ Karolina Pliskova vs (20) πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ CoCo Vandeweghe

Karolina Pliskova’s destiny is now in her own hands in New York. Pliskova will retain her world number 1 ranking if she is to reach the final at Flushing Meadows but she will be hoping to go one step further than 2016 and win the title. Pliskova is a pretty clear favourite to win the title from here now that the majority of her main rivals are eliminated from the tournament. However, Pliskova will face a big test on Wednesday when she comes up against a red-hot CoCo Vandeweghe. The head-to-head record between Pliskova and Vandeweghe is split at 2 wins apiece, there really is very little to separate these two, meaning this should be a very close encounter with so much on the line. Can Vandeweghe cause an upset?

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Karolina Pliskova vs Jennifer Brady, U.S Open R4 Preview

US Open, πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸŽπŸ—½πŸš• R4 Preview + Prediction:
(1) πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ώ Karolina Pliskova vs πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Jennifer Brady

Karolina Pliskova has made it through to the second week in New York after surviving back-to-back scares. Pliskova was surprisingly pushed to a third set by Nicole Gibbs and Shuai Zhang and will be hoping for a much improved performance when she comes up against Jennifer Brady in the fourth round on Monday at Flushing Meadows. Brady will have other ideas heading into the biggest match of career, the American is into the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the second time in 2017 having never won a Grand Slam main draw match prior to 2017. Brady will enter this fourth round clash with nothing to lose and the New York crowd by her side, will that be enough to push the world number 1?

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Karolina Pliskova vs Shuai Zhang, U.S Open R3 Preview

US Open, πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸŽπŸ—½πŸš• R3 Preview + Prediction
(1) πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ώ Karolina Pliskova vs (27) πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³ Shuai Zhang

World number 1 Karolina Pliskova survived a scare in the second round at Flushing Meadows, Pliskova was forced to came from a set down to defeat Nicole Gibbs and set up a third round clash with China’s Shuai Zhang. Pliskova will be happy to see Shuai Zhang in the third round, Pliskova holds a perfect 4-0 head-to-head record over Zhang and easily accounted for Zhang 6-2 6-0 in their most recent match in Doha earlier this year. Pliskova will be hoping for an improved performance on Saturday and another straightforward win over Zhang as she continues her quest to claim a maiden Grand Slam title and go one step better than her runner-up appearance in New York last year.Β 

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