Naomi Osaka vs. Karolina Pliskova, Australian Open SF Preview

🇦🇺 Australian Open, Semi-Final Preview
🇯🇵 (4) Naomi Osaka vs. 🇨🇿 (7) Karolina Pliskova

Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova will renew hostilities when they go head-to-head in Thursday’s second semi-final at Melbourne Park. There is a lot on the line here. Osaka is two just 2 wins away from completing the rare New York / Melbourne double whilst Pliskova is two wins away from finally capturing that elusive maiden Grand Slam title. Both Osaka and Pliskova will become world number 1 if they go on to win the title in Melbourne. This is a big one between two powerful players.

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka has done extremely well to reach the semi-finals in her first Grand Slam since winning the US Open last year. Osaka continues to show maturity beyond her years. We have seen several players struggle with the pressure after breaking through and winning a Grand Slam title, that has certainly not been the case with Osaka who has admirably dealt this several tough situations on route to the final 4 in Melbourne.

Osaka cruised through her first couple of matches in Melbourne with straight set wins over Magda Linette and Tamara Zidansek. Osaka then navigated her way past Su-Wei Hsieh and Anastasija Sevastova, Osaka came from a set down in both of those matches, against Hsieh she was down a set and a break. Osaka sealed her spot in the final 4 with a fairly dominant 6-4 6-1 win over Elina Svitolina.

Karolina Pliskova is through to her third Grand Slam semi-final and will be aiming to reach her second Grand Slam final in her quest to finally win a Grand Slam title. Pliskova is widely regarded as the best player on tour not to win a Grand Slam title, the former world number 1 now has a great chance to change that.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic reacts to winning her quarter-final match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Pliskova booked her spot in the semi-finals with a dramatic victory over Serena Williams. Pliskova blew a set and a break lead to trail Williams 1-5 in the decider, from there Pliskova won 6 straight games and saved 4 match points on route to a famous 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory. It has been a fantastic start to the season for Pliskova who is currently on a 10-match winning streak having won the Brisbane International title prior to arriving in Melbourne.

Pliskova holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Osaka. The pair split their 2 meetings in 2018: Osaka won in 3 sets in Indian Wells whilst more recently Pliskova won 6-4 6-4 in the Tokyo final.

Who will prevail in the battle of the big hitters?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Karolina Pliskova vs. Lesia Tsurenko, Brisbane Final Preview

Brisbane International, Final Preview
🇨🇿 (5) Karolina Pliskova vs. 🇺🇦 Lesia Tsurenko

Sunday night’s championship match at the Brisbane International sees 2017 champion Karolina Pliskova take on Lesia Tsurenko. Pliskova heads into this match as a strong favourite but Tsurenko is in great form and is not to be dismissed.

Lesia Tsurenko of the Ukraine in action during the semifinal of the 2019 Brisbane International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Karolina Pliskova has been very successful in Brisbane over the last couple of years. Pliskova won the tournament in 2017 and reached the semi-finals last year, she now has the chance to win a second title at the first premier level final of the year.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Pliskova this week, she started the week with a tough match against Yulia Putintseva where she came from a set and a break down. Pliskova’s level has generally increased as the week has gone on, her most consistent performance came at the semi-final stage where she beat Donna Vekic 6-3 6-4.

Lesia Tsurenko has progressed to her first premier level final without dropping a set. Tsurenko cruised through her first few matches against Mihaela Buzarnescu and Kimberly Birrell before winning a tight match against an in-form Anett Kontaveit. Tsurenko’s biggest win came at the semi-final stage where she claimed a big 6-2 6-4 win over Naomi Osaka.

Pliskova heads into this match with a 3-2 head-to-head record over Tsurenko. The most recent match between the pair took place on clay in Madrid in 2017, Pliskova won that match 7-6 2-6 6-2.

Will Pliskova win her second Brisbane title or will Tsurenko claim the biggest title of her career?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Karolina Pliskova vs. Marie Bouzkova, Brisbane R2 Preview

Brisbane International R2. Match Preview
🇨🇿 (5) Karolina Pliskova vs. 🇨🇿 (Q) Marie Bouzkova

Karolina Pliskova enters her second round clash with in-form qualifier Marie Bouzkova as a strong favourite. Pliskova will be playing to reach her third consecutive quarter-final in Brisbane whilst Bouzkova will be aiming to capture the biggest win of her career and a maiden WTA tour level quarter-final birth.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Brisbane International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Karolina Pliskova got off to a shaky start in Brisbane. Pliskova found herself down a set and a break against Yulia Putintseva in her opening match of the season, Pliskova steadied to capture a 4-6 6-3 6-4 victory. Pliskova’s level improved as the match went on, her serve was particularly impressive in the third set as she fired down 7 aces and did not face a break point.

Maria Bouzkova has already won 4 matches this week in Brisbane and has beaten several quality opponents. Bouzkova won 3 matches in the qualifying draw including wins over Kostyuk and Golubic. Bouzkova’s opening round win in the main draw came against Samantha Stosur, a 4-6 6-2 6-2 victory. Bouzkova’s level in the second and third sets was very high, Stosur couldn’t handle it.

Can Bouzkova challenge her compatriot in their first career meeting?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Karolina Pliskova vs. Yulia Putintseva, Brisbane R1 Preview

Brisbane International, R1 Preview
🇨🇿 (5) Karolina Pliskova vs. 🇰🇿 Yulia Putintseva

Karolina Pliskova and Yulia Putintseva will go head-to-head at the opening round stage of the Brisbane International for the second time. Pliskova thrashed Putintseva 6-3 6-1 when the pair met in Brisbane in 2017. This has traditionally been a great match-up for Pliskova, the former US Open finalist holds a perfect 2-0 record over Putintseva and has never dropped a set to the Kazakh having also claimed a 7-6 6-3 win in Miami in 2017.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic practices ahead of the 2019 Brisbane International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Karolina Pliskova heads into 2019 as arguably the best player on tour to have not won a Grand Slam title, that is the unwanted tag that Pliskova will have to wear in 2019 until she makes a breakthrough. Pliskova is a former champion in Brisbane having won the event in 2017, she is well suited to the fairly quick hard courts in Brisbane.

Yulia Putintseva is making her second appearance in Brisbane. The last direct entry into the draw has once again drawn Karolina Pliskova in the first round, a very tough match-up for Putintseva on a traditionally quick hard court. Nevertheless, Putintseva never shies away from a challenge and will relish the opportunity to claim a big scalp.

Can Putintseva cause a big upset or will Pliskova be too strong?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Sloane Stephens vs. Karolina Pliskova, Singapore SF Preview

🇸🇬 WTA Finals, Singapore SF #2 Preview
🇺🇸 (5) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇨🇿 (7) Karolina Pliskova

Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova will go head-to-head in the second semi-final of the day in Singapore. This match-up features a big contrast in styles, the great versatility and athleticism of Stephens against the rangy power of Pliskova. Stephens has been extremely impressive on throughout the week, winning all 3 of her matches on route to the semi-finals, as a result Stephens enters this match as the favourite and should be a very tough opponent for Pliskova.

Karolina Pliskova’s route to the semi-finals:

(W) vs. Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-4
(L) vs. Elina Svitolina 6-3 2-6 6-3
(W) vs. Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-4

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic celebrates wining her second match at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Karolina Pliskova is through to the semi-finals in Singapore for the second year in a row in her third consecutive appearance at the event. Pliskova started her Singapore campaign in style with a commanding straight set win over Caroline Wozniacki. Pliskova put herself in a tough position with a 3 set loss to Elina Svitolina but rebounded strongly to claim her first ever win over Petra Kvitova and confirm a spot in the final 4. Interestingly Pliskova stated that she was feeling fatigued after her loss to Svitolina, Kvitova provided little resistance so it is hard to know how much to read into that win and whether or not fatigue is still an issue for Pliskova after a long month. Pliskova has been playing sensible tennis this week, playing much more conservatively than she has in the past.

Sloane Stephens’ route to the semi-finals:

(W) vs. Naomi Osaka 7-5 4-6 6-1
(W) vs. Kiki Bertens 7-6 2-6 6-3
(W) vs. Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-3

Sloane Stephens of the United States in action during her third match at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Sloane Stephens entered Singapore in poor form having struggled to win matches during the Asian swing. Nevertheless, Stephens has flicked the switch as is often the case for the American at big events. Stephens topped the red group having won all 3 of her matches. Stephens started her WTA Finals debut with tough 3 set wins over Naomi Osaka and Kiki Bertens. Stephens faced Kerber in the last group stage match with the winner set to progress, it was Stephens who far more clutch, winning in straight sets to top the red group. The ability of Stephens to win the big points was key to her win over Kerber, a sign that she is confident right now.

Stephens has the slight edge in the head-to-head record having won 2 of their 3 previous encounters. Stephens won the first two matches between the pair in straight sets, most recently it was Pliskova who won 6-2 6-3 in Madrid earlier this year. Expect a very different result in Singapore.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Petra Kvitova vs. Karolina Pliskova, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, White Group match preview
🇨🇿 (4) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇨🇿 (7) Karolina Pliskova

Fed Cup teammates Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova will go head-to-head in Thursday’s first match from the white group. Kvitova has lost her first two matches this week whilst Pliskova has 1 win and 1 loss to her name. Nevertheless, both Kvitova and Pliskova still have a chance of progressing to the semi-finals, so everything is to play for here. Kvitova has a perfect 3-0 record over Pliskova but it is Pliskova who has generally been in the better form of late, can Pliskova finally secure her first win over Pliskova?

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in action during her second match at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova has been one of the biggest disappointments of the tournament. Kvitova lost her first match of the week to Elina Svitolina in straight sets before succumbing to Caroline Wozniacki in 3 sets. Kvitova often went for too much in her loss to Svitolina and seemingly tried too hard to reverse that as she was often too passive against Wozniacki. It was strange to see Kvitova willing to get into rallies with Wozniacki and frequently not attack short ball, that tactic backfired and now leaves Kvitova requiring a straight set win here and then relying on Svitolina beating Wozniacki in the next match to progress to the semi-finals.

Karolina Pliskova made a positive start to her third consecutive WTA Finals campaign with a straight set win over defending champion Caroline Wozniacki. However, Pliskova was unable to get over the line against Elina Svitolina in her next match, succumbing in 3 sets. Pliskova admitted after the match that she felt tired after all her recent matches and travels. Pliskova will need to rebound strongly and find more energy if she is to defeat a desperate Petra Kvitova for the first time in her career.

Kvitova enters this match with a perfect 3-0 head-to-head record over Pliskova. The most recent match between the pair took place in Madrid earlier this year, Kvitova won that match 7-6 6-3. Interestingly Kvitova has gone on to win the title every time she has beaten Pliskova.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Elina Svitolina vs. Karolina Pliskova, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, White Group match preview
🇺🇦 (6) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇨🇿 (7) Karolina Pliskova

The first spot in the semi-finals at this year’s WTA Finals will be up for grabs when Elina Svitolina takes on Karolina Pliskova in the second match from the white group on Tuesday. Svitolina and Pliskova both made bright starts to their Singapore campaigns with straight set victories over more fancied opponents. This is an interesting match-up because of the contrast in styles, Pliskova has generally had the wood over Svitolina but the Ukrainian has already defied a poor head-to-head record this week and will fancy her chances of doing the same here.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in action during her first match at the 2018 WTA Finals tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina began her second consecutive appearance in Singapore with a noteworthy 6-3 6-3 win over Petra Kvitova. It was clear that Svitolina was pumped for this match and she gave very, very little away on route to victory. Svitolina was at her solid best, a perfect mix of attack and defense totally bamboozled Kvitova. Svitolina will know that a similar style of play will likely get the better of Pliskova here.

Karolina Pliskova was also impressive in her first round victory as she makes her third consecutive appearance in Singapore, defeating defending champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-4. What stood out in Pliskova’s win was her play under pressure, Pliskova saved all 10 break points she faced to remain perfect on serve throughout the match. Pliskova’s aggressive play was too much for Wozniacki to handle, a similar style of play will be required to get the better of Svitolina.

Pliskova holds a 5-2 head-to-head record over Svitolina. However, Svitolina has won the last couple of matches between the pair. The most recent match between the two took place in Brisbane earlier this year, Svitolina won that match 7-5 7-5.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Caroline Wozniacki vs. Karolina Pliskova, Singapore RR Preview

WTA Finals Singapore, White Group match preview
🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇨🇿 (7) Karolina Pliskova

Caroline Wozniacki begins her title defense in Singapore on Sunday with a clash against Karolina Pliskova in the white group. Wozniacki claimed the biggest title of the career at the time when she won the WTA finals for the first time 12 months ago and will hope to end the most memorable season of her career on a similar high in 2018. Wozniacki has a strong record over Pliskova and enters this match as a clear favourite but can she get the job done?

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action during the final of the 2018 China Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Wozniacki has not been in the greatest of form for the majority of 2018 but enters the WTA Finals on a high having won the China Open a few weeks ago. The defending champion has thrived in Singapore where the conditions are seemingly perfect for her game. Wozniacki has competed in Singapore twice, she won the event last year whilst in 2014 she claimed 3 big wins before succumbing to Serena Williams in a third set tiebreak at the semi-final stage. The fairly slow, low bouncing courts in Singapore are the perfect conditions for the Dane, she will hope to use that to her advantage as she seeks another big title.

Karolina Pliskova just scrapped into this year’s WTA finals. Pliskova ventured to Moscow last week in an attempt to secure one of 3 remaining spots in Singapore, a first-up loss to Vera Zvonareva in straight sets meant that her destiny was in the hands of other results. Luckily for Pliskova results and withdrawals went her way, Pliskova will make a third consecutive appearance in Singapore. Pliskova’s recent form has been fairly strong during the Asian swing, highlighted by the title in Tokyo and recently reaching the final in Tianjin.

Wozniacki heads into this clash with a 6-3 head-to-head record over Pliskova. The most recent match between the pair took place in Singapore 12 months ago, Wozniacki won 7-6 6-3. Pliskova has had some success in this match-up of late, the pair have split their last 6 matches with 3 wins apiece.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Karolina Pliskova vs. Serena Williams, US OPEN QF Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: QF Preview
🇨🇿 (8) Karolina Pliskova vs. 🇺🇸 (17) Serena Williams

Karolina Pliskova and Serena Williams will go head-to-head for the first time since a 2016 US Open semi-final meeting where Pliskova caused a huge upset. Serena will be keen to avoid a similar fate on Tuesday in New York as the pair do battle for a place in the semi-finals. This is a match between arguably the two best serves on tour, a match-up of fine margins. Who will prevail?

Serena Williams of the United States in action during her fourth-round match at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Karolina Pliskova has now made it through to the quarter-finals at the US Open on 3 consecutive occasions, easily her best Grand Slam, the only Grand Slam where she has made it all the way to the final. Pliskova has made the most of a fairly favourable draw to make to the final 8. The 8th seed has not dropped a set on route to the quarter-finals, beating Zarina Diyas, Ana Bogdan, Sofia Kenin and Ashleigh Barty. Pliskova’s first big test came at the fourth round stage against Barty, Pliskova came through with flying colours, winning 6-4 6-4. Pliskova’s serve was not broken against Barty, Pliskova saved all 8 break points she faced. A Similar serving performance will be required to challenge Williams.

Serena Williams cruised through the first week at Flushing Meadows. The 6-time former champion easily defeated Magda Linette, Carina Witthoeft and Venus Williams to reach the second week. Serena seemed to be heading for another commanding win when she rocketed through the first set against Kaia Kanepi but Serena was surprisingly pushed all the way in a 6-0 4-6 6-3 victory. Serena has played some of her best tennis since her return over the last week in Flushing Meadows, that was particularly true in her 6-1 6-2 demolition of Venus Williams in the third round, the best match she has played this year.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Williams beat Pliskova in straight sets in Stanford in 2014. More recently Pliskova claimed a 6-2 7-6 win over Williams at the semi-final stage at the US Open in 2016. It must be said that Williams was far from 100% fit when they last met, she was severely hampered by injury.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Karolina Pliskova vs. Kiki Bertens, Wimbledon R4 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R4 Preview
🇨🇿 (7) Karolina Pliskova vs. 🇳🇱 (20) Kiki Bertens

Karolina Pliskova and Kiki Bertens will go head-to-head on ‘manic Monday’ at SW19. This is the first time both Pliskova and Bertens have reached the fourth round stage at Wimbledon, a huge opportunity for both to reach the final 8 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Pliskova easily defeated Bertens earlier this year in Stuttgart. Can Bertens, fresh off an big upset win over Venus Williams reverse their previous result and cause yet another upset?

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during the third round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Karolina Pliskova arrived at Wimbledon in average form and having lost at the second round stage in her last 5 appearances at Wimbledon. The 7th seed broke her Wimbledon hoodoo to reach the second week for the first time thanks to a couple of tough victories. Pliskova started the tournament off with a fairly poor performance, beating local wild-card Harriet Dart in 3 sets. Pliskova dramatically improved her level as she comfortably defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-2 6-3 before fighting from a set and 1-4 down to defeat Mihaela Buzarnescu 3-6 7-6 6-1. Pliskova is the only top 10 seed remining in her half of the draw.

Kiki Bertens is through to the second week of a Grand Slam for the third time in her career, the first time away from Roland Garros. The 20th seed cruised through her first couple of matches, beating Barbora Stefkova and Anna Blinkova in straight sets. Bertens claimed one of the biggest wins of her career on Friday as she eliminated 5-time former champion Venus Williams 6-2 6-7 8-6. After losing a tight second set and going down an early break in the decider it seemed Bertens was heading for the exit door, Bertens rebounded strongly to claim a memorable win.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece at the tour level. The only recent match between the pair was earlier this year on clay in Stuttgart, Pliskova claimed a comfortable 6-2 6-2 victory.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here