(8) Karolina Pliskova vs (5) Carla Suarez Navarro
Saturday’s first semifinal at the BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games sees Karolina Pliskova take on Carla Suarez Navarro. Both Pliskova and Carla recorded comprehensive straight set victories on Friday to sneak one still closer to the title in Antwerp.
Karolina Pliskova advanced to the semifinals with an impressive 7-6 6-3 victory over compatriot, Lucie Safarova. Karolina was not at her best but her composure on the big points was the main difference in this match. Despite having a first serve percentage of just 51% in the opening set, Karolina managed to keep things on serve and force a tiebreaker.
It was Karolina who showed superior composure in the tiebreak, she gave very little away as Lucie faltered, double faulting to give Karolina a crucial lead. With the first set under her belt, Karolina seemed to loosen up in the second set, capturing an early break to gain complete control of the match. Pliskova clinically closed out the match, she never once looked threatened.
Carla Suarez Navarro has battled her way through to the semifinals in Antwerp. The Spaniard was forced to come from a set down in her opening two matches, before comfortably beating Francesca Schiavone 6-3 6-2. A victory here would mean a lot to Carla, reaching a rare final at an indoor event.
The head to head record is split at one win apiece, both matches required a third set. Karolina won their most recent encounter which took place a month ago in Sydney. Pliskova came from a set down before cruising to a 4-6 6-4 6-0 victory.
The slower conditions on Centre Court favour Carla, however Pliskova has the ability to really hit through the court with her thundering groundstrokes. Pliskova should have the edge in this match, her power will be too much for Carla too handle.
Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Suarez Navarro in 2 sets