Karolina Pliskova vs Alize Cornet, Brisbane Final preview

Brisbane International Championship match: ??
(3) ?? Karolina Pliskova vs ?? Alize Cornet

The 2017 Brisbane International champion will be crowned on Saturday night, Karolina Pliskova and Alize Cornet will contest the first premier level final of the season. Karolina Pliskova has been in superb form in Brisbane, the quick conditions have really suited the Czech’s big game. Pliskova is unlikely to have things all her own way in Saturday’s final as Alize Cornet has already knocked off some quality opponents and will be extra determined as she aims to win her very first premier level title. 

Karolina Pliskova put on a serving clinic to advance to the final in Brisbane. The Czech third seed produced a crushing display of tennis to rocket past Elina Svitolina 6-2 6-4 in just over an hour. Pliskova won 27 of 28 points behind her first serve and was not broken throughout the entire match. Pliskova’s win over Svitolina was certainly her most impressive of the week. Pliskova scored straight set wins over Yulia Putintseva and Asia Muhammad and a three-set win over Roberta Vinci prior to her demolition of Svitolina.

Not many people would have expected Alize Cornet to reach the Brisbane final. The Frenchwoman has defied the odds to give herself a chance to win the biggest title of her career. What makes Cornet’s run to the final more impressive is that she was down and out in the first round when she trailed Elena Vesnina a set and 1-4 before fighting back to win in a third set tiebreak. Cornet then went on to thrash Christina McHale in straight sets before claiming an impressive 6-3 7-5 win over the second seeded Dominika Cibulkova. Cornet’s place in the final was confirmed when Garbine Muguruza retired injured early in their semi-final match.

Cornet won the only previous meeting between the pair, a 7-6 6-0 win in Guangzhou back in 2013. Clearly much has changed since that match and Pliskova is an infinitely better player. Pliskova is a deserving favourite heading into Saturday’s final and probably should be strong enough to power past Cornet. However, the Frenchwoman can’t be underestimated and has the game to frustrate Pliskova. Cornet is moving exceptionally well this week and has the ability to move Pliskova around the court and expose her movement with a mixture of slice and delicate drop shots. This should be a close match, I’m going to back a determined and slightly fresher Cornet to find a way to claim the Brisbane title.

Prediction: Alize Cornet to defeat Karolina Pliskova in 3 sets

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