Stanford QF: (4) Karolina Pliskova vs Ajla Tomljanovic
Another fascinating quarter-final matchup on Friday sees Karolina Pliskova take on Ajla Tomljanovic in a battle of two of the tours most powerful young talents.
Karolina Pliskova’s first half of the year was good enough to see her obtain a prime position to reach the WTA Finals in Singapore. The Czech kick-started her 2015 U.S Open series with a solid 7-5 6-2 victory over Kimiko Date-Krumm on Thursday afternoon. Pliskova’s serve was typically effective, saving all three break points she faced and winning a high percentage of first service points. Karolina will face a much greater test when she comes up against the dangerous Tomljanovic on Friday.
After a mostly disappointing first half to the year, Tomljanovic has made a very positive start to her U.S Open Series campaign. Tomljanovic won 12 straight games on route to a 3-6 6-0 6-0 first round victory over Vitalia Diatchenko before picking up her second top 20 victory of the year with another come from behind victory over Madison Keys in the second round.
Madison Keys dominated the opening set, however Tomljanovic was able to turn things around to record an confidence boosting 1-6 6-4 6-1 victory over the American. Ajla served well and returned well, firing deep returns at Keys and forcing the American to make mistakes. Ajla is well prepared for another big server in the form of Pliskova in the next round.
This will be the first tour level meeting between Karolina and Ajla. The two have met once before at the challenger level, Tomljanovic prevailed in 2 sets back in 2011.
This promises to be a fascinating encounter, I think Tomljanovic can cause another upset here. Ajla’s victory over Keys is perfect preparation for a match against Pliskova, Ajla showed that she has the game to unsettle a powerful opponent.
Prediction: Ajla Tomljanovic to defeat Karolina Pliskova in 3 sets