?? Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, QF Preview
?? (3) Karolina Pliskova vs ?? (6) Angelique Kerber
Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber will renew hostilities when they meet at the quarter-final stage of the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday. It is Kerber who has had the better of this match-up in recent times and the German is seemingly in much better form heading into this match. Nevertheless, matches between these two have traditionally been very close, the contrast in styles between the two often brings out the best in each other.
Pliskova arrived in Dubai fresh off a very disappointing early round exit in Doha last week. Pliskova failed to come close to defending her title in Doha, losing in the third round to Catherine Bellis, one of Pliskova’s most disappointing defeats in recent times. The third seed seemed to be heading for a similar fate in Dubai when she dropped the opening set in her first round match against Carla Suarez Navarro, Pliskova managed to steady and claim an important 5-7 6-2 6-4 victory over the Spaniard.
Angelique Kerber has been the most consistent player in 2018 and arguably the most impressive. Kerber has amassed an 18/2 win/loss record across all competitions in 2018, the German was in a winning position in both of the matches she has lost this year: against Halep at the semi-final stage of the Australian Open and against Wozniacki at the quarter-final stage in Doha last week. The 6th seed has progressed to the quarter-finals in Dubai thanks to a couple of fairly comfortable straight set wins over Barbora Strycova and Sara Errani.
Kerber holds a 6-3 head-to-head record over Pliskova and has won 4 of the last 5 matches between the pair. The most recent match between the two took place in Tokyo last year where Kerber won 7-6 7-5. Can Kerber continue her recent dominance over Pliskova?