World number four Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic will be up against the 19th-ranked countrywoman Marketa Vondrousova in the semifinal of the 2020 WTA Italian Open on Sunday, September 20. The match is expected to begin at around 4 pm local time (3 pm BST). Get the live streaming options of this Karolina Pliskova v Marketa Vondrousova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Karolina Pliskova v Marketa Vondrousova Head to Head
There has only been one previous encounter between these two players with Pliskova winning it in straight sets at the Miami Open last season. On clay, however, it might not be as straightforward.
Pliskova Pushed by Mertens
Elise Mertens has been an in-form player and that she took Pliskova to three sets shouldn’t have come as a surprise at all. What was surprising was the manner in which the final set went, also an indicator of Pliskova’s fine return to form as she looks to defend her title in Rome.
After the first two sets were evenly shared, Pliskova found herself something extra in the third resulting in a bagel and leaving Mertens, who was 16-3 before post the pandemic break in tatters. The Czech, who had earlier taken a 2-0 lead in the second set before getting broken on a couple of occasions, raced off to an early break in the third too.
This time, however, there was no looking back with Pliskova raising her game and finishing off the match 6-0 in the final set.
Earlier in the tournament, Pliskova had beaten Barbora Strycova and Anna Blinkova in straight sets, to set up this meeting with Mertens. And while Pliskova is yet to get to her full capacity while serving, she has given enough glimpses of having returned to nearly her best.
Vondrousova Returning to Her Best Too
A French Open finalist, Vondrousova hadn’t begun the 2020 season too well and then post the pandemic break had won just one of the four matches she played before the Italian Open. This included a first round defeat on the clay of Palermo and another at the Cincinnati Open.
Which is why it was easy to write off her chances in this competition, despite having made the quarterfinals here last year. Those were different times, with Vondrosouva in some of the best form of her life.
At the Italian Open that form looks to be returning back and it seemed to be on full display in her quarterfinal against Elina Svitolina. After breaking Svitolina in the fourth game of the first set and securing it 6-3, she went on a rampage as she repeated the dose three more times to complete a 6-3, 6-0 win.
What was particularly impressive was the fact Vondrousova had played her previous round the previous night, finishing at around 12 and having admittedly not slept too much, the Czech player came on and delivered such a performance.
An in-form Pliskova will be a greater challenge for sure but with Vondrousova having gotten to her best on her favourite surface, it could either way.
Karolina Pliskova v Marketa Vondrousova Prediction & Tip
Pliskova is a favourite here but not expecting this to be a one-side match. Both Czech players can be expected to come hammer and tongs at each other in this encounter which could see a three-setter as a result.
Tip: Over 21.5 games in the match: 5/6 (bet365)