World number four Aryna Sabalenka will be looking to make it to her maiden Grand Slam final when she takes on former world number one and Czech player Karolina Pliskova in the semifinal of the 2021 Wimbledon on Thursday, July 7. Get the live streaming options of this Aryna Sabalenka v Karolina Pliskova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aryna Sabalenka v Karolina Pliskova Head to Head
There have been two previous meetings between these two players and Sabalenka has won both times. What’s interesting to note is these matches came in 2018, at a time when Sabalenka was still looking to break into the top ranks and Pliskova was a top-ranked player, with both matches going into the third set.
One of those matches came on the grass courts of Eastbourne.
Sabalenka Sends Out Jabeur in Solid Contest
It turned out to be the match of the day as Sabalenka defeated Ons Jabeur in a contest of fine margins. Sabalenka took an hour and 15 minutes to carve out a straight-set win over her Tunisian opponent but not before things got a tad tough, especially in the first set.
In a tennis match of high quality, Sabalenka faced the only break-point of the first nine games and while she saved it easily it looked like she would have to dig deep into her reserves to make it to her first ever Grand Slam semifinal.
And then came the game of the day, the 10th.
Serving to stay in the set, Jabeur saved four set-points, but Sabalenka also overcame four game-points to finally break her opponent and clinch the set.
The pair then exchanged an early break of serves in the second set, but when the pressure rose, it was Sabalenka who stood up to it by breaking Jabeur in the eighth game and then serving out to win 6-4, 6-3.
Sabalenka will now hope to continue with her winning run which has already seen her beat Elena Rybakina in the fourth round.
Pliskova Hasn’t Dropped a Set All Tournament
Continuing with her solid performance throughout this competition, Pliskova took full toll of her opponent’s inexperience to register a straight-set win in her quarterfinal. It was her fifth successive win without dropping a set and it took her a mere hour and 22 minutes to get to her victory.
Pliskova broke Viktorija Golubic two times in each of the two sets while saving all three of her break-points to carve out a 6-2, 6-2 win.
Eight aces and 28 winners punctuated the win for Pliskova, who had earlier gotten past the likes of Tamara Zidansek, Donna Vekic, Tereza Martincova and Ludmilla Samsonova to make it to the last eight.
One way of looking at this is Pliskova is yet to play a seeded player in the tournament and in Sabalenka she plays one who is the second seed and has been in the form of her life all season. On the other hand, Vekic has done well in the not so distant past, Martincova has been tough to beat and Samsonova had herself come into their match on the back of a winning streak that went for a few matches.
Can she take the positives out of this rather than get bogged down by the cons?
Sabalenka v Pliskova Prediction and Tip
The problem for Pliskova isn’t just about having not played a seeded player but the manner in which she has capitulated against a player of higher pedigree this season. Take the example of Italian Open where she reached the final but was crushed 6-0, 6-0 by Iga Swiatek. Or those defeats to Jessica Pegula throughout the year. Or the straight-set loss to Karolina Muchova at Australian Open.
Sabalenka’s inexperience at this stage is the only factor stopping her from taking her opponent down in this one.