Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart SF #2 Preview
?? (5) Karolina Pliskova vs. ?? Anett Kontaveit
Karolina Pliskova and Anett Kontaveit will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet in Saturday’s second semi-final for the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart. Pliskova and Kontaveit both booked their spot in the semi-finals with hard-fought 3 set victories, both are match-hardened and full of confidence heading into this match. This looks like a great opportunity for both to reach their first final of 2018, both will see this as a winnable match, who will step up and grab this opportunity?
Karolina Pliskova has continued her incredibly consistent start to the season this week in Stuttgart. Pliskova has reached at least the quarter-final stage at 6 of the 7 events she has competed in this year, however she is yet to make it all the way to a final. Pliskova started her Stuttgart campaign with an impressive 6-2 6-2 demolition of Kiki Bertens before hitting 15 aces on route to a 7-6 6-3 win over Veronika Kudermetova. Pliskova booked her spot in the final 4 with a gutsy 5-7 7-5 6-4 win over Jelena Ostapenko. It is clear that Pliskova has improved her game on clay, especially her movement and ability to defend.
Anett Kontaveit arrived in Stuttgart with 4 consecutive losses to her name and seemingly very little confidence. The Estonian has been able to get over the line in a couple of tough matches this week and had a little fortune along the way to reach her first semi-final of the year. Kontaveit started the week with a 5-7 7-6 7-6 win over Kristina Mladenovic before benefiting from the retirement of Angelique Kerber it the second round. Kontaveit booked her spot in the final 4 via a marathon 3-hour 7-5 6-7 6-3 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Kontaveit has done well to get through 2 very tight matches this week.
It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out in what will be the first career meeting between the pair.