Pliskova vs. Halep
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 23, 2018, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova meet in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Australian Open.
Simona Halep is coming off a straight sets win over Naomi Osaka that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Halep won 65 percent of her first serve points and 55 percent of her second serve points. Halep did a good job of keeping the ball in play in her fourth round victory, winning 48 percent of her return points and producing just 18 unforced errors. Halep produced five breaks in her fourth round victory as well. Besides the marathon match with Lauren Davis, Halep has been really consistent this tournament and will be tough to beat if she can keep her errors below 20. Halep hopes to make her fifth career grand slam semifinal appearance. Halep is 4-5 in her career in grand slam quarterfinal matches. Halep has never made the semifinals of the Australian Open, as she’s lost both previous quarterfinal matches. Halep has won 10 straight matches on hard court.
Karolina Pliskova is coming off a three sets win over Barbora Strycova that took 29 games to decide. In the victory, Pliskova won 66 percent of her first serve points and 56 percent of her second serve points. Pliskova wasn’t as consistent with her serve in her fourth round match and was broken twice, but she did win 43 percent of her return points, and she’ll be in good shape if she can continue that effort. Pliskova has now won 10 of her last 13 sets played and is coming off a match in which she hit 42 winners. Pliskova hopes to make her third career grand slam semifinal appearance. Pliskova is 2-2 in her career in grand slam quarterfinal matches. Pliskova has never made the semifinals of the Australian Open. Pliskova has won eight of her last 10 matches on hard court.
These two have played seven times in the past and Halep has won five of those meetings. The most recent match was in the 2017 French Open, a match Halep won in three sets. Halep has won the last two meetings with her last loss coming in the 2016 Davis Cup. Halep is 4-2 against Pliskova on hard court.
Pliskova hasn’t been as dominant with her serve as she has been in the past and that’s worrisome given that it’s her biggest weapon and the one thing that puts her ahead of the rest of the field. Also, Halep has beaten Pliskova in four of the six matches on hard court, all in straight sets, so that tells you she sees the ball well and can handle those power shots. Halep also just faced a power player in Naomi Osaka, and she forced 31 unforced errors, so she should be prepared for a match like this one.
I like Halep to reach the semifinals.