While half of the world’s top ten continues to struggle in 2015, Miami has been a good tournament for the in-form players of 2015. One of those is Karolina Pliskova who won her 21st WTA match of the year on Monday. I think i’m just going to keep using that stat in every preview I write about Pliskova because it’s a pretty awesome stat! Pliskova booked her place in the quarters with a straight sets win over Daria Gavrilova, 6-3 6-2. I think I was hasty when I said that this court surface didn’t suit Pliskova’s game. Her win over Gavrilova certainly proved me wrong. Pliskova moved well and returned exceptionally well, forcing Gavrilova in to going for too much. Gavrilova’s coach, Nicole Pratt nailed it on one of the changeovers. Gavrilova wasn’t doing much wrong apart from getting frustrated by Pliskova’s brilliance and being impatient. The Czech player had a brief lull at the end of the match but claimed the win after breaking Gavrilova’s serve for the fifth time.
Pliskova will meet Andrea Petkovic in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open. In a battle between number 9 and 10 in the rankings, Petkovic beat Ekaterina Makarova, 6-1 7-5 in one hour and 42 minutes. It was Petkovic’s first top ten win of the year and by quite some distance, her best performance too. Petkovic has been so up and down this year but on this occasion, she was steady and controlled from the baseline, and barely put a foot wrong. Makarova hit some blinding backhand winners but was also wildly erratic, particularly in the first set. Like her match in Indian Wells against Timea Bacsinszky, she looked pissed on the court and aired her frustration to her coach on the changeover. This was a great night for German tennis fans as Sabine Lisicki also won through with an absolutely BLINDING performance against Sara Errani. Lisicki’s quarter-final against Serena Williams will be previewed on Moo’s Tennis Blog tomorrow…
Petkovic and Pliskova are tied at 1-1 in their head-to-head; Petkovic won their first match in Cincy in 2013, 7-5 6-2, but Pliskova gained revenge last year in Wuhan with a 6-4 6-4 victory. As well Petkovic played against Makarova, Pliskova’s level is going to be tough to match.
Prediction: Pliskova d. Petkovic in 2 tight sets