Simona Halep vs Karolina Pliskova Australian Open 2018 QF Preview

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Simona Halep

The World No.1 ranking is still up for grabs at the end of this tournament but Simona Halep can ensure she is favourite to hold on to it with victory in the final match of the day session on Rod Laver Arena. Were she to lose against Karolina Pliskova and Caroline Wozniacki won her semi final, the Dane would move to the top spot regardless of the result in the final.

Watch the Halep vs Pliskova Live Here.

After an epic round three, Halep had a much less stressful match to follow with Naomi Osaka never really posing much of a threat to the Romanian. Osaka had powered Ashleigh Barty off the court in the previous round but had no such luck this time round. Halep broke 5 times overall in the 6-3 6-2 win, her four wins this fortnight coming in addition to her Shenzhen title to make it 9 wins to open 2018. Halep does have slight ankle issues but they don’t seem to be hindering her too much from that performance. “Ankle is still sore. But, you know, I’m not thinking about that any more. I saw that I can win matches with it, so now I’m not that (worried) any more.” she said.

Meanwhile, Pliskova dealt with a tricky opponent of her own in the previous round. She came from a set down and additionally a break down in the third set to win against Barbora Strycova. That first set was the first she lost of the tournament having won her first three matches in straights, most recently against Lucie Safarova. ““The first set took away from me a lot of power, but I was much more aggressive after that,” Pliskova said of her win over Strycova.

Pliskova has always struggled against players who can grind her down and make her work and her record against Halep is no exception. She is 1-5 against the No.1 with just three sets won overall. While favourite, expectations on Halep are not overbearing to the extent they may hinder her in this matchup. A semi final would be Halep’s career best in Melbourne, having now made three quarter finals.

Prediction – Simona Halep in three sets

 

Prediction – Simona Halep in three sets

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