Karolina Pliskova vs Carla Suarez Navarro
Wednesday's first quarter-final at the Apia International Sydney sees Karolina Pliskova take on Carla Suarez Navarro. This is a massive opportunity for both ladies to reach the Semi-Finals and perhaps beyond at a premier event.
After defeating qualifier Polona Hercog in the opening round, Karolina was scheduled to face top seed Simona Halep in the second. Unfortunately Simona was forced to withdraw due to illness. Nicole Gibbs stepped in as a lucky loser. Pliskova breezed past Nicole Gibbs, a comprehensive 6-0 6-0 victory in just 38 minutes.
Karolina has made a promising start to the season, highlighted by her marathon three hour first round victory over Vika in Brisbane. However she was unable to back up that victory in the next round, suffering a surprise loss to Alla Kudryavtseva. She won't want to let another opportunity slip here.
Carla Suarez Navarro has also made a positive start to her 2015 campaign. Carla has now reached back to back Quarter-Finals, after reaching the final 8 in Brisbane where she was humbled by a red-hot Maria Sharapova.
All four of the Spaniards victories this season have been three setters, on three occasions Carla has been forced to come from a set down. On route to the Quarter-finals Carla has had two tough victories over quality opponents, defeating Lisicki in a third set tiebreaker before coming from a set down to edge past sixth seed Ekaterina Makarova.
Carla Suarez Navarro was victorious in the only previous encounter between these two. A 6-1 3-6 6-3 victory at Rogers Cup last season.
Pliskova is constantly improving, her next step is to consistently beat opponents like Carla who has a similar ranking. I think Pliskova will get the job done in a tight three setter.
Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Carla Suarez Navarro in three sets