World number nine Karolina Pliskova will take on the 25th-ranked and Croatian Petra Martic in the semifinal of the 2021 Italian Open on Saturday, May 15. Get the live streaming options of this Karolina Pliskova v Petra Martic match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Karolina Pliskova v Petra Martic Head to Head
There have been four previous meetings between these two players and both have won two apiece. There has been one previous match played on clay though, at the 2019 French Open and Martic had won that third round encounter
Pliskova Showing Signs of Resurrection
It took Pliskova two hours and 23 minutes but in the end she came through in three sets in her quarterfinal against Jelena Ostapenko.
The world number nine, who was 3-2 on clay this season before this competition, looked to have turned things around with wins over Anastasija Sevastova and Vera Zvonareva. However, against Ostapenko got off to a flying start with a couple of breaks to kick-start the match and take a 4-0 lead.
And while Pliskova came back with back to back breaks as well, a late break in the set allowed her Latvian opponent to get away with a set lead.
Ostapenka then took a 2-0 lead in the second set, dropped serve twice but when she broke again to level things at 5-5 it looked like a tie-breaker was in the offing. Two break-points followed on the Latvian serve with Pliskova taking advantage of the second before serving it out to make it a set apiece.
The decider began with Ostapenko getting the early break and losing serve, and then another break in the seventh game followed by another dropping of serve in the eighth game. A clutch of break-points for both players including three match-points for Ostapenko was followed by a tie-breaker where Pliskova ran away to 7-1 win.
Can Pliskova now make it to her first final since when she reached there last season in Rome?
Martic Shocks Pegula
Coming into her quarterfinal at 13/10 against Jessica Pegula, Martic managed to carve out a straight-set win and reach the last four. Martic won 7-5, 6-4 to march into her first semifinal since her appearance there in Palermo in August last year.
Martic needed an hour and 41 minutes to get there, with the first set going neck in neck to begin with. Four breaks of serves were exchanged in the first six games, but it took till the 11th game where Martic needed four break-points to bring home the advantage.
Another pair of breaks in the second set took them to 4-4 but when the going got tough again it was Martic who stood tall. She carved out an important break in the ninth game and then served it out in the next to pocket the match.
This follows wins over Shelby Rogers, Kristina Mladenovic and Nadia Podoroska in the first three rounds of the competition.
Pliskova v Martic Prediction and Tip
Pliskova will start things off as a favourite at 4/6 and we will be backing her to win as she’s returned to the form this competition. A three-set win.