Karolina Pliskova vs Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Miami QF Preview

Miami Open, ???? QF Match Preview
(2) ?? Karolina Pliskova vs (26) ?? Mirjana Lucic-Baroni

A rematch of the Australian Open quarter-finals will take place at the same stage of the Miami Open as the second seeded Karolina Pliskova comes up against her nemesis Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. Pliskova was stunned by Lucic-Baroni at the quarter-final stage of the Australian Open earlier this year, one of the most disappointing losses of Karolina’s career, a match that would certainly still haunt her.

Karolina Pliskova continues to be one of the most consistent performers on 2017. Pliskova is into her fourth quarter-final of the year and will be aiming to reach her fourth semi-final if she can get past Lucic-Baroni. Pliskova has eased into the final 8 in Miami, beating Madison Brengle, Yulia Putintseva and Barbora Strycova in straight sets. Pliskova’s outstanding consistency has been impressive in 2017, as has her ability to breeze through early round matches despite not necessarily playing at her best.

Lucic-Baroni’s stunning season has continued in Miami. After reaching the Australian Open semi-final in January, her first Grand Slam semi-final since 1999, the 35-year-old is now into the quarter-final stage of a premier mandatory event for the first time in her career. Lucic-Baroni won an extremely tight opening round match against Kateryna Bondarenko which ended in a third set tiebreak before claiming an impressive straight set win over Agnieszka Radwanska and a tight straight set win over Bethanie Mattek-Sands. 

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This has proven to be a tight match-up in the past, the head-to-head record is split at three wins apiece whilst the last three matches have all gone the distance. As mentioned above, the most recent match between the pair took place at the Australian Open earlier this year, the match ended as a historic 6-4 3-6 6-4 win for Lucic-Baroni.

I’m going to give Pliskova the edge heading into this match. Pliskova’s level of play is reliably high whilst despite having a great year, Lucic-Baroni is still inconsistent and occasionally throws in a shocker. Pliskova’s loss to Lucic-Baroni would have hurt and I suspect Pliskova will be fired up to avenge that loss, Pliskova’s serve is generally more consistent and she should just sneak through here.

Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in 3 sets

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