Karolina Pliskova vs. Sloane Stephens
|Date & Time||Saturday October 27, 2018, 4:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova meet in the semifinals of the 2018 tennis WTA Finals.
Sloane Stephens is coming off a straight sets win over Angelique Kerber that took 18 games to decide. In the victory, Stephens won 58 percent of her first serve points and 58 percent of her second serve points. Stephens had 25 winners and 29 unforced errors in her victory while producing five breaks on 15 break points. Stephens is still capable of serving beer than she has up to this point, but she’s produced a combined 19 breaks in this tournament and that feisty attitude seems to be back. When Stephens is playing within herself and has that confidence going, she’s tough to bet against. Stephens has a chance to make her fourth final appearance of the year and the ninth final appearance of her career. Stephens has won three of her last five matches on indoor hard court.
Karolina Pliskova is coming off a straight sets win over Petra Kvitova that took 19 games to decide. In the victory, Pliskova won 56 percent of her first serve points and 57 percent of her second serve points. Pliskova had six winners to 17 unforced errors and was able to break five times on nine break points. Pliskova has been bombing the aces we’re used to seeing from her, but she’s produced 12 breaks in her last three matches and has kept the unforced error numbers fairly low. If Pliskova can get back to serving the way she’s capable, she has to like her chances to reach the final. Pliskova has a chance to make her fourth final appearance of the year and the 23rd final appearance of her career. Pliskova has split her last four matches on indoor hard court.
These two have played three times and Stephens has won two of those matches. The most recent match was in Madrid of this year, a match Pliskova won in straight sets. All three matches have been decided in straight sets and this will be the second ever meeting on hard court.
Stephens has had the upper hand over Pliskova in three meetings and had little trouble with her in the only meeting on hard court. While Pliskova has the rest advantage here, she’s not serving with the power we’re used to seeing, which makes her very beatable for other top tier players. Yes, Stephens hasn’t played her best, but she’s won all three matches and has been a return machine. That’s key when playing a player such as Pliskova.
I like Stephens to reach the final.