Following their first ever meeting at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships several weeks ago, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova will once again cross paths on the professional tour, and this time, the Czech will look to avenge her loss to Halep in the final. With Halep’s personal tragedy looming over her this week in the American desert, it would not be farfetched to see her 1-0 lead in the head-to-head series evaporate on Tuesday.
Halep won her third round match against Varvara Lepchenko following a bit of a struggle. She eventually edged past her opponent in three sets, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Halep looked sharp in the opening set but was then met with some surprising resistance from the 26th seed in the second round. She eventually found her way back to safety and closed out the match thereafter. She won 64% of her first service points and converted five break points to close ou tthe victory in 2 hours and 14 minutes.
Next up for the Romanian is No. 14 seed Karolina Pliskova, who defeated Spain’s Garbine Muguruza 7-5, 6-4 to set up the encounter with the world No. 3. She struck nine aces, 77% of her first service points and saved the lone break point she faced in the match to close out the encounter in one hour and 24 minutes. It was clean, promising performance from the Czech native.
This is the second time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, and given their respective weeks on the tour, and could be a far different match-up than their earlier meeting several weeks ago in the Dubai final. Given Halep’s wobbly performances so far, this could be Pliskova’s opportunity to avenge her loss last week.
Prediction: Karolina Pliskova in Three Sets