The 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix will conclude with Sunday’s singles final between CoCo Vandeweghe and the number six seed, Karolina Pliskova in Stuttgart. Both players won their semi-final matches on Saturday with a 6-4 6-2 scoreline. It’s an unexpected final in that neither CoCo and Karolina have had great years up till now and both cite clay as their weakest surface. Their performances showcase Stuttgart’s unique clay court surface that frequently rewards big servers.
With a trio of top ten wins this week, Vandeweghe is into her sixth WTA final and first on clay. Vandeweghe dropped just two points behind her first serve in a stellar serving performance against an increasingly rushed, Caroline Garcia. I’ve been impressed with CoCo’s focus this week and she hasn’t shown any signs of losing the plot… yet!
Pliskova’s serving was also impressive in her straight sets win over Anett Kontaveit. The Czech player won 16 out of 16 points on serve in the second set (!) and dropped just five points in the opener. Pliskova’s performance in the second set was the best i’ve seen her play in a long, long time. Kontaveit played a pretty solid match.
We’ve had some classic finals in Stuttgart over recent years with Siegemund-Mladenovic from 2017 one of the best matches of the year. In all honesty, the thought of a Vandeweghe vs. Pliskova final does very little for me 😂. Vandeweghe leads the head-to-head, 3-2, and won their most recent match at the US Open last year. In their only previous match on clay, Pliskova won in Stuttgart last year, 7-6(2) 6-4. All five previous matches have been decided in straight sets with their last four matches being decided in the first set on a tiebreak. Therefore, this would suggest that the first set will be crucial.
As to a winner? 🤔🤔🤔
Before Pliskova-Kontaveit had played, I was thinking Vandeweghe was going to win this. After Pliskova’s performance against Kontaveit, i’ve changed my mind. I’d generally have more faith in Pliskova delivering a sound display as i’m still wary about Vandeweghe throwing in a shocker in what will be a high-pressure environment. The return of Pliskova’s dominance on serve has been key this week and she has been gritty and resolute in defence when on the back foot.
15 thoughts on “WTA Stuttgart 2018 Final Preview: CoCo Vandeweghe vs. Karolina Pliskova”
Prague Open first round
Ka Plis vs Kris Plis
Was an Okay tournament, a tad too many retirements in the end. For a clay court event you couldn’t have asked for a more outright, hard court, pair of power players to contest this final. I assume it will simply fall on who holds the power serves best. Probably catch it recorded later.
Yes agree, I found Stuttgart a bit flat this week.
Good win from Pauline (Parmentier) in the Instanbul final, her first for about 10 years! but I found it disturbing to see Polona Hercog’s racket smash after losing the final point.
No one likes to lose a match (or a tournament) but IMO that’s something you just don’t do. I think it spoils the experience for the spectators.
Yes I saw that last night! Didn’t watch the match, did Polona have chances to win it?
I only saw the highlights James, but no not really. She levelled the match at one set each but in the final set Pauline got to 4-2 ahead. Polona pulled one back to make it 4-3, but Pauline won the final two to win the championship.
She was clearly very emotional after winning and said at interview that after the poor start she’d had to the season she was thinking of giving it all up and making this her last season, but winning the trophy gave her the will to carry on and try to do well in the slams.
The post didn’t go through again James because I included a link to Pauline’s interview on the WTA site. Could you fix it please?
Thanks in advance,
Thanks for letting me know, Graham! Should be up now.
Thanks for fixing it James!
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I was afraid to watch, thinking Coco would win (based on their previous matches), but Pliskova did us all proud with easily her best match of the year. She played so well off both wings, served impeccably and kept surprising Coco will well timed slice and drop shots.
Also have to comment on how thrilled I am to see AK Schmiedlova winning matches on tour again! I hope the Kasatkina match is a good match, both women love the clay and are so good in a rally. Daria will need to be aggressive from the get go if she wants to break Anna’s win streak, I think.
Dasha’s got to win her R1 match first but would be a good one on clay if it happens! They played first round of AO this year where Dasha won easy but AKS was clearly injured.
It was also AK’s first main draw match in a while. She played with a lot of confidence yesterday, Watson had to really fight just to win games.
Good win from AKS, but Heather’s in a bit of a slump at the moment. I hope she gets out of it.
Yes sad to see for Heather, I kind of expected this result after the Fed Cup weekend.