WTA Prague: Thoughts about the quarter-finals

1. Karolina Pliskova v Denisa Allertova

Pliskova (4)Pliskova has come from a set down to win both her matches this week.  On Wednesday, she defeated Tsvetana Pironkova in a third set tiebreak, 3-6 6-3 7-6(1).  By all accounts, Pliskova has been nowhere near her best, but she’s still in the quarters.  This is a great attribute to have and something that Pliskova has done well all year having only lost to one player outside of the world’s top 2o in 2015.  She will play Allertova in the quarter-finals, who also came back from a set down to beat Alize Cornet, as she scored her second top 100 win of the week and year.  Allertova threatened to score a third set bagel, eventually winning, 3-6 7-5 6-2.  Pliskova will have to improve to make the semi-finals, but i’d fancy that to happen…

Prediction: Pliskova d. Allertova in 2 tight sets

2. Yanina Wickmayer v Danka Kovinic

Wickmayer 11Wickmayer had all kinds of trouble trying to close out her second round match against Aleksandra Krunic.  I saw on the scoreboard that she had match points when serving it out in the second, but needed a third set to get the job done.  Both of her matches this week have finished 7-5 in the decider.  Next up is Kovinic who has continued her good form since Charleston where she reached the quarter-finals.  Victories over Monica Niculescu and Shuai Zhang will see her crack the top 100 in next week’s rankings.  In a first career match, this feels like a bit of a coin toss.  I can’t explain this choice, but instinct is telling me Wickmayer.

Prediction: Wickmayer d. Kovinic in 3 sets

3. Barbora Strycova v Katerina Siniakova

Barbora Zahlavova StrycovaStrycova is just one of two seeds to have reached the quarters and she has done so by snapping a four match losing streak in Prague with straight set wins over Madison Brengle and Elena Vesnina.  Siniakova, who knocked out the number six seed, Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round, has also won both her matches in straights with her first WTA quarter-final of 2015.  Strycova won their only match at home on the clay in Trnava in 2013.  Both have the tendency to be a little crazy on court, but I think Strycova’s game is the more stable and that she will advance.

Prediction: Strycova d. Siniakova in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)

4. Lucie Hradecka v Klara Koukalova

ZakopalovaThere’s a bit of a theme running here… this is third all-Czech match-up in the quarters.  After a dire start to the year, Koukalova has reached back-to-back quarter-finals in Katowice and Prague.  On Wednesday, she beat the talented teen, Ana Konjuh in three sets, 6-4 2-6 6-2.  Hradecka’s form has been decent all year and she came into this tournament off the back of Charleston where she won six matches on her way to the semi-finals.  She has won another five matches in Prague as she had to come through qualifying again.  In the second round, she edged Tereza Smitkova, 7-6(11) in a third set tiebreak.  Both players had to play two singles matches on Wednesday.  Hradecak and Koukalova haven’t played since 2010 with Koukalova winning all four previous matches in straight sets.  Hradecka faces a tough turnaround physically having played six competitive matches in five days and may also have her eyes on Madrid where qualifying begins on Friday…

Prediction: Koukalova d. Hradecka in 2 sets

WTA Marrakech quarter-final predictions

Lara Arruabarrena d. Kristina Mladenovic in 3 sets

Flavia Pennetta d. Timea Babos in 2 tight sets

Elina Svitolina d. Karin Knapp in 2 tight sets

Timea Bacsinszky d. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in 3 sets

Photos by Moo’s Tennis Blog and Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

7 thoughts on “WTA Prague: Thoughts about the quarter-finals

  1. I agree with you James ,if Plizkova beats Allertova, then she would definitely be the favourite to capture the title in her home country. Should be better than she was in the previous two matches having had a decent run out.

    Was quite surprised to see Muguruza go out yesterday.. One would think it’s tournaments like these ones she should be winning with all of her talent.

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    • I only saw the start of the Muguruza match and I don’t know what went wrong because she looked unplayable in those first 3 games…

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  2. Kovinic vs. Wickmayer. I am not sure if Wickmayer is able to cross the line like her previous match. On paper, she should be able to win. It should be a three setters.

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