Wuhan QF: (8) Karolina Pliskova vs (15) Roberta Vinci
Thursday’s first quarter-final at the Wuhan Open sees Karolina Pliskova come up against U.S Open finalist Roberta Vinci. This promises to be a fascinating encounter between two in form players with contrasting styles. Pliskova is now very close to securing her spot in Singapore, a victory over Vinci would be extremely valuable for the Czech. Vinci will be no pushover, the Italian has maintained her stunning form which saw her reach her first Grand Slam final in New York earlier this month.
Karolina Pliskova’s run to the quarter-finals in Wuhan has been very important in raising her chances of reaching a first career WTA Finals campaign in Singapore. Karolina Pliskova is now up to 8th in the live race to Singapore standings. Pliskova has come through two extremely tough matches this week, after receiving a bye into the second round Pliskova recorded an extremely hard-fought 7-6 5-7 7-6 victory over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. The Croatian served for the match in the third set but Pliskova remained composed and played some awe3some points in the final set tiebreaker to get the job done.
Pliskova’s third round victory was even more impressive, the Czech came from a set down to defeat a determined Elina Svitolina 2-6 6-4 6-4. Pliskova seemed to be heading for a straight set loss but really raised her intensity towards the end of the second set and changed the course of the match. Pliskova’s firepower ultimately proved too much for Svitolina to handle.
Roberta Vinci has backed up her run to the final at the U.S Open impressively well in Wuhan. Vinci started the week with a three set victory over Danka Kovinic before defeating Seoul champion Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets. It was in the third round that Vinci really impressed, recording a 7-6 6-2 victory over defending champion Petra Kvitova. Vinci trailed 0-4 in the first set before winning 13 of the last 17 games to cause yet another huge upset. Vinci’s game seems well suited to the slower courts in Wuhan, she will like her chances against Karolina Pliskova on Thursday.
Roberta Vinci thumped Karolina Pliskova 6-1 6-0 in their only previous encounter which took place on the clay in Katowice back in 2013. A lot has changed since then, Karolina Pliskova has improved markedly.
Many are predicting Vinci to be too solid for a somewhat fatigued Pliskova, however I think Pliskova will be good enough to get the job done here. Karolina has a lot to play for, another couple of victories in Wuhan would see her all but secure a spot at the WTA Finals for the first time in her career. If Karolina serves well, she will then be able to put enough pressure on the Vinci serve to create enough opportunities to win this one. Karolina really impressed me against Svitolina, I think she is smart enough to get passed Vinci.