Johanna Konta vs Karolina Pliskova, Eastbourne SF Preview

Aegon International, ?? Eastbourne SF #2 Preview
(5) ?? Johanna Konta vs (3) ?? Karolina Pliskova

Friday’s second semi-final from the Aegon International will be a blockbuster clash between Johanna Konta and Karolina Pliskova, two of the most powerful players on tour. Konta and Pliskova loom as two of the main threats at SW19 next month, this semi-final clash looms as an important match for both as they look to gain momentum ahead of the third Grand Slam of the year. There will be little to separate these two, both have very similar games and both are playing good tennis this week in Eastbourne.

Johanna Konta has arguably been the form player in Eastbourne this week. Konta has overcome a difficult route to the semi-final stage at the Aegon International. The Brit started the event with a routine straight set win over Sorana Cirstea before battling past reining Roland Garros champion: Jelena Ostapenko, 7-5 3-6 6-4. Konta secure her spot in the semi-finals by ousting world number 1: Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-4. Konta did suffer a big fall right at the end of her match with Kerber, how that will impact her moving forward is not known.

Karolina Pliskova has made a solid start to her grass court campaign by advancing to the semi-finals in Eastbourne. Pliskova made it to the final in Eastbourne in 2016 and will now be looking to go one step further this year by winning the title. Pliskova started the tournament with a solid straight set win over Alison Riske before sneaking by Shuai Peng in two very tight sets. Pliskova’s biggest test came in the quarter-finals where she battled past Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7 6-2 6-4.

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Karolina Pliskova has had the better of this match-up, Pliskova holds a 5-1 head-to-head record over Konta. Pliskova has won all three of their previous matches on a grass court, including a 6-7 6-3 6-3 win in Eastbourne last year. It was Konta who won their most recent match, 6-1 3-6 7-6 in Beijing last year.

There really is very little to separate these two, this one could easily go either way. This match will arguably feature the two best serves on tour, breaks of serve will be precious in this match-up. I’m going to give Konta the slightest edge because I feel her return of serve has generally been more dangerous recently and that could be the difference here.

Prediction: Johanna Konta to defeat Karolina Pliskova in 3 sets

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