The Halep-Pliskova match will be followed by the Novak Djokovic-Diego Schwartzman final; get its live stream information here.
The top two seeds at the Italian Open, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova will take their appointed places in the final which will be played on Monday, September 21. The match is expected to begin at around 4 pm local time (3 pm BST). Get the live streaming options of this Simona Halep v Karolina Pliskova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Simona Halep v Karolina Pliskova Head to Head
There have been 11 previous matches between Halep and Pliskova and the Romanian has a healthy 7-4 lead over the Czech world number two. On clay, it’s 1-1 with Halep winning the 2017 French Open semifinal and Pliskova avenging that with a straight-set win at the 2018 Madrid Open quarterfinal.
Their most recent meeting came in the 2019 WTA Finals, in a group stage match where Pliskova won 6-0, 2-6, 6-4.
Halep Tested but Unbeaten
The Romanian passed the Garbine Muguruza test in what turned out to be a thrilling match with Halep finally winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to move into the final. In doing so, she avenged her defeat to the Spaniard in the Australian Open earlier this year.
Halep needed little over two hours in her first three-setter of the tournament to notch up her 13th successive win of the season, having come into the Italian Open on the back of titles in Dubai – before the pandemic break – and Prague Open in August.
The first set went to plan for Halep who broke her opponent twice and while she was broken once in return, the Romanian always looked good to pouch it. And it looked like one-way traffic when Muguruza’s serve came under pressure yet again in the second set as she dropped it.
Three more service breaks followed though, bringing parity to the proceedings, and before she knew it, Halep was broken again to lose the second set almost against the run of play. Halep looked like she was under pressure at the start of the third set but once she had rediscovered her rhythm, the Romanian broke Muguruza early, and race away to a 5-1 lead.
Muguruza showed why she is still rated so highly when he retaliated with breaks of her own to bring things back to 5-4, but serving to stay in the match, she was broken by Halep, the latter reaching her third successive final of the season.
Can she make it three titles in a row as well?
Pliskova Tames Fellow Czech
If Pliskova’s form looked slightly shaky coming into this tournament in Rome, her performances in the Italian Open should have put all concerns to bed. Pliskova had no issues quelling the challenge of fellow Czech and French Open runnerup Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets, winning 6-2, 6-4 to move into the final.
Earlier, Pliskova had needed three sets to carve out a win over the in-form Elise Mertens but even there once she had regained composure in the final set, she wrapped it up 6-0. Barbora Strycova and Anna Blinkova had been left with no chance earlier in the tournament.
Pliskova, a defending champion at the Italian Open, hadn’t had the best of starts to the season on resumption when she fell in her opener at the Cincinnati Open and then lasted just two rounds at the US Open. With Pliskova’s end to the pre-pandemic part of the season having not been the best either, question-marks were being raised about her chances here.
With a performance like what she has managed in this tournament, the naysayers have been quietened. For the title itself, she is up against a player who has been in red-hot form but given the history and rivalry between these two, it’s a tough one to call.
Halep v Pliskova Prediction & Tip
Halep is a whopping 8/15 favourite to win this but we think it could be a lot closer than that. The keen tussle could see the match lasting the distance as a result.
Tip: Over 20.5 games in the match: 4/5 (bet365)