J&T Banka Prague Open, QF Preview
?? (7) Mihaela Buzarnescu vs. ?? Kristyna Pliskova
The 7th seeded Mihaela Buzarnescu takes on local favourite Kristyna Pliskova at the quarter-final stage of the Prague Open on Thursday. This will be the first career meeting between Buzarnescu and Pliskova, a pair of lefties with contrasting games. This is a huge opportunity for both ladies to reach a rare semi-final at the WTA tour level, who will step up and make the most of this chance?
Mihaela Buzarnescu’s form has not been great of late. The Romanian’s run to the quarter-finals this week in Prague is the first time she has won back-to-back matches since Doha almost 3 months ago and only the third time in 2018 that she has managed to win more than 1 match at a single tournament. Buzarnescu’s wins this week have followed a similar path, a comfortable opening set followed by a challenging second set, a 6-1 7-5 win over Beatriz Haddad Maia and a 6-0 7-6 win over Antonia Lottner. Lottner did serve for the second set at 5-4 and was ahead 40-15 so it was a great effort by the Romanian to close out her second round match in straight sets.
Clay is not a surface that one would expect Kristyna Pliskova to thrive on, however Pliskova is having a good week on the clay in Prague for a second year in a row. Pliskova came agonizingly close to winning the title in Prague last year where she was overrun by Mona Barthel in the final, Pliskova has now put herself in a position to contend for the title once again. Pliskova has beaten a pair of solid opponents to reach her second quarter-final of the year, a 7-6 6-3 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich and a 6-2 7-6 win over Qiang Wang.
It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out in what will be the first career meeting between the pair.