Two of 2015’s star performers on the WTA tour will meet in the stand-out of the third round matches from Indian Wells on Sunday. This match-up really excites me, so much so I felt it warranted a preview all to itself. Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova will be playing each other for the second time this year after a barnstorming semi-final encounter in Dubai last month. Pliskova won that match, 6-4 5-7 7-5 in two hours and 53 minutes. I watched back the final set, which was pretty delightful as Pliskova held her nerve at the very end to eek out an impressive win. Their first ever match at Roland Garros had also gone the distance so it would be fair to expect another close match in the desert.
Muguruza needed three sets to win her first match of the week. She defeated Irina Falconi, 4-6 6-2 6-3 in two hours and nine minutes. I was surprised when checking the scores this morning to see that Garbine lost the first set. I watched the first game before going to bed and she was striking the ball beautifully. However, the stats weren’t pretty and her serve continues to be an area of weakness. In the first set, Muguruza won 34% of service points and was broken on four occasions. However, she improved through the final two sets, losing her serve just once to seal the win. Pliskova won in straight sets, 6-3 7-5 against Lara Arruabarrena. It was her first match since a brutal run of tournaments that had seen her play Fed Cup in Canada, Antwerp (reached semi-finals), Dubai (reached final) and Doha ( reached second round).
In terms of picking out a winner, it’s a bit of a coin toss. Pliskova played the better second round match, but that doesn’t automatically mean she will play the better third round match. Tennis doesn’t work like that so I wouldn’t rule out Muguruza for that reason. There is little to call between their baseline games, but Pliskova has the bigger and more importantly, reliable serve and can always banker on it to get her out of trouble. Furthermore, i’d say that Pliskova is the slightly more level-headed on the two. Pliskova has used her calm and cool demeanour to great effect this year and toughed out some tight matches.
I’m chuffed this match is second up on Stadium 3… I’ll get to watch it and hoping for another cracker!
Prediction: Pliskova d. Muguruza in 3 sets
2 thoughts on “WTA Indian Wells, 3rd Round Preview: Garbine Muguruza v Karolina Pliskova”
I’m backing Pliskova but I feel that the slower courts here should favour Muguruza’s game, though she needs to work her serve.
It is all on MUG’s serves. If she can control her unforced errors. She will win because the court favor her a lot. Karo was shaky in her first round. The scorelines did not tell the whole story. I actually love both of them. I will there to support both anyway.