??? Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome SF preview + prediction
?? (2) Karolina Pliskova vs.?? (12) Marketa Vondrousova
Karolina Pliskova is a couple of wins away from successfully defending her title in Rome. The second seeded Pliskova faces a tough test in Sunday’s second semi-final at the Foro Italico when she comes up against reigning Roland Garros runner-up Marketa Vondrousova.
A return to the Roman clay has seen a change in fortunes for Karolina Pliskova who has a poor run in the United States. The 2019 Internazionali BNL d’Italia champion started her 2020 campaign with a 6-3 6-3 win over Barbora Strycova before moving past Anna Blinkova 6-4 6-3. The second seed secured her spot in the semi-finals with a 6-3 3-6 6-0 win over the 11th seeded Elise Mertens.
Marketa Vondrousova is having her best week on tour since she reached the Roland Garros final last year. It has been a roller-coaster week for the 21-year-old. Vondrousova started the week with a 6-1 4-6 6-4 win over Misaki Doi before beating Arantxa Rus 6-3 6-3. The Czech squeezed past Polona Hercog 6-1 1-6 7-6 in in an epic struggle before producing her best performance of the tournament thus far with a 6-3 6-0 win over the 4th seeded Elina Svitolina.
It was Pliskova who won the only previous meeting between the pair, a 6-3 6-4 win at the quarter-final stage of the Miami Open last year.
Vondrousova is a threat to Pliskova on a clay court. However, I’ll stick with Pliskova here. Vondrousova is having a great week but I’m still not convinced she has what it takes to go to the next level. Pliskova’s stronger game and greater mentality under pressure should give her the edge in the critical moments.