WTA Birmingham, Quarter-Final Preview: Carla Suarez Navarro v Karolina Pliskova

CSNTwo of the in-form players on the WTA tour this year, Carla Suarez Navarro and Karolina Pliskova will meet for the fourth time in 2015 on Friday in the first of the quarter-finals from the Aegon Classic in Birmingham. Both players were pushed to three sets in their first matches of the week; Suarez Navarro won the last four games of her match against Timea Babos, 6-2 3-6 6-4, while Pliskova came from a set down to beat the Brit, Johanna Konta, 3-6 6-3 6-4. In the third round, Suarez Navarro overcame the always dangerous, Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-3 6-4. CSN had a stumble in the second set, losing her double break, but refocused to win in straights. Considering grass is not her favoured surface, this was an excellent performance from the Spaniard. Carla looked comfortable, served well and maintained her slightly more aggressive game that she has implemented this year.

After finishing her match against Konta on Thursday, Pliskova returned to court 1 to win her third round match against Zarina Diyas, 6-2 6-2. There was a significant improvement from Pliskova between the two matches and it will be very interesting to see whether she can become more comfortable on this surface. Her serve has been good, but not great so far this week. Against Diyas, she had 55% first serves in, six aces and 75% of first serve points won.

Suarez Navarro leads the head-to-head against Pliskova, 3-1. The Czech player won their first encounter of 2015, 4-6 6-4 6-0, but the Spaniard has won their two most recent matches. It is worth noting though that in both those wins (Antwerp, 6-2 6-2 and Doha, 7-6 6-4), Pliskova looked gassed following her heavy schedule. I’m really on the fence with this one. In my head, I think the surface favours Karolina, but I was really impressed with how Carla played against Sveta today. Furthermore, i’ve lost count of the number of times i’ve unfairly written Carla off this year. Although Pliskova hasn’t really got going yet and I have doubts about her game on the grass, I also have this feeling that it could all click into place for her in the quarters. I’m sorry Carla, no doubt you will prove me wrong again! I’ll be interested to hear opinions and see which way the poll swings on this match…

Prediction: Pliskova d. Suarez Navarro in 3 sets

17 thoughts on “WTA Birmingham, Quarter-Final Preview: Carla Suarez Navarro v Karolina Pliskova

  1. If Pliskova doesn’t win I’ll be annoyed as this title really could be hers. Winning so comfortably against Diyaz will hopefully have given her the big boost she needs to get it done.

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    • Hmmm I think there’s still some decent players left. Kerber, Lisicki and Halep all have a shot at the title. I don’t think CSN will be easy at all.

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      • I think the main problem with the new generation of tennis players is consistency. I was very impressed when CSN defeated Kutzy in two sets. I reckon CSN has a better chance to win this one. Diyas is a lousy grass court player compares to Konta. It all depend on Karo’s forehand and serves and consistency, if she want to win. This will be a great match.

        I think Halep and CSN have better chances to win the title here though I want Sabine to take it.

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  2. Well I have to hand it to Miss Consistent CSN she despatched Sveta on grass and seems to have adjusted to the grass,this will be a interesting match up with Pliskova,though I am picking Pliskova to win,as long as her first serve and fhand is working.

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  3. I’ll go against the grain here and nominate CSN. Pliskova’s weaknesses is in her movement so as usual her card will be to outhit CSN which I somewhat doubt here.
    I think CSN should do well to tone down on the winners a bit and keep Pliskova on the run as well as have her bending over to return low balls. This should only add to the pressure for Pliskova to serve well just like in their previous matches. Guessing there will be a lot of errors from Pliskova’s FH side.

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    • It all comes down to how Pliskova plays really. If she can put margins on her shots but still go for winners, the pace of the courts will make it very difficult for CSN to keep putting them back as deep as she has on clay and on the slower hard courts. But if Pliskova makes errors left right and centre then CSN has to do very little to win the games.

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      • I agree, it’ll be interesting to see how CSN can adapt to Pliskova’s power on this surface. Pliskova will probably start pounding the ball down the center or at least through the center of the net for easiest clearance and CSN will have to adapt and find the angles. This might give Pliskova an early break and in the worst case scenario for her if CSN does adapt she can hold until she takes the 1st set.
        At least thats what I’d do if I were Pliskova :-))
        There’ll be a lot of hit or miss esp at the beginning of the match as they both get a feel for each other.
        Exciting stuff.

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  4. I think it won’t take too long for them to see who has the edge in this situation-unless Pliskova saves her cards and just plays the ‘holding game’. If CSN can’t find the solutions we’ll see Pliskova w all her weapons coming through. If not she’ll be running laterally and won’t be finding her range in the shots.

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  5. Please tell me who will win this match why does everyone in the board think Pliskova will win when CSN has beat Pliskova 2 times in a row? and they never faced each other on grass ? Why is everyone jumping on with Pliskova

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    • The reason is listed in the preview. Pliskova wasn’t playing anywhere near her best in those two matches. She’d had a really exhaustive schedule which left her with no energy whatsoever. And both matches were on slow playing hard courts where CAN was able to vary the spin and height on the ball.

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      • so andrew you think Pliskova will win ? Reason I am asking is I wanna put some money on this game just sorta nervous Pliskova keeps loosing to CSN

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      • I’m not into gambling so I wouldn’t tell you to do anything. CSN has been the better ‘sure bet’ player this year. But this surface favours Pliskova, who has greater weapons overall anyway. So it’s probably 50-50…

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  6. Yesssss! After a brief dip in form, it looks like Pliskova is right back in it. If she wins this week then she could go top ten.

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      • At least we know that her game does work on grass. Her chances at Wimbledon look pretty good right now. Beating Halep in the semi finals would be so big for her confidence

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