An entertaining, albeit unexpected, final is scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon in Nurnberg, as world No. 19 Eugenie Bouchard and Karolina Pliskova cross paths for a second time on the professional tour. Their only other meeting was a thrilling affair and places loft expectations on their final on Saturday.
Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard rebounded from her opening match losses in Madrid and Rome with a strong showing in Nurnberg. She stormed past Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-0, 6-3 in her opening match, before she swept qualifier Anastasia Rodionova 6-0, 6-1 in 45 minutes. She would face a tougher competitor in Shvedova in the quarter-final round but would pass that test as well, as Bouchard defeated Shvedova with a pair of tiebreakers to secure her spot against Karin Knapp, whom she defeated comfortably 6-4, 6-3.
“She was playing really well,” Bouchard said of Knapp. “I know she’s capable of playing even better. It was a very solid match for me.”
- Bouchard is looking to win her first WTA title.
- The Canadian has not lost a set en route to the final.
The other side of the draw featured the upset of the day, as Karolina Pliskova toppled No. 1 ranked teenager Elina Svitolina to secure a spot in the Nurnberg final. After dropping the first set 2-6, she rebounded to win the following two sets 6-1, 6-2.
“I started slow but after the first set I woke up and was more aggressive,” Pliskova said. “I’m happy that I came back and won the second and third sets. “I’m playing well here. I like the club. The people are nice. Everything’s good.”
The one previous match-up between Bouchard and Pliskova was a memorable encounter in the first round of the US Open last year, which Bouchard won 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
“It was a really tough match at the US Open,” Bouchard said. “She has a strong game and can play really well. I’m going to be prepared for that but am going to focus on my side of the net and what I need to do. I need to play my game. I improved from yesterday to today, which I’m happy about, but I want to do even better tomorrow.”
Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard in Three Sets