The first women’s semifinal of the Australian Open 2019 will feature two top 10 players, Karolina Pliskova and Naomi Osaka, battling it out for a place in the final.
Watch & bet on Karolina Pliskova v Naomi Osaka live with bet365 here* on Thursday, January 24. The Pliskova v Osaka match will not be played before 3:30 pm local time (5:30 am BST).
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Pliskova Continues Her Dream Run
After her incredible win over Serena Williams in the quarterfinal, Pliskova has now extended her winning streak to 10 matches. She won the singles title in Brisbane earlier this year and with her run to the semifinal in Melbourne, she is more than likely to break into the top 5.
The Czech has been nothing short of incredible throughout the competition and she proved just that against the 23 time Grand Slam winner in the quarters. Going into that fixture against Williams, many pegged Pliskova to be the underdog. However, in two hours and 12 minutes, she won the match 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
The most incredible turn of events took place in the last set, when Pliskova was down 5-1, staring in the face of defeat. But the reigning Stuttgart Open champion fought back hard and broke Serena’s massive service game thrice to take the match away from her.
The seventh-seeded Czech played some of the best tennis of her life in that set. More incredibly, she saved four match points against Williams to see herself through to the third Grand Slam semifinal of her career.
Osaka’s Grand Slam Run Continues
On her way to the semifinal, Naomi Osaka knocked out Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-1, in just a little over an hour. In the final set, the World No. 4 broke Svitolina’s serve twice to take an unassailable lead and reach the semifinal in a Grand Slam for the second consecutive time in her career.
The last time Osaka had a run like this was in the US Open last year, where she subsequently defeated Madison Keys and Williams to become the champion at the Flushing Meadows. Her win over Svitolina means that Osaka hasn’t lost a Grand Slam match since the Wimbledon last season.
The 21-year-old Japanese has continued to impress throughout her campaign in Melbourne with her powerful winners and excellent shot quality.
Pliskova v Osaka – Head to Head
There have been only three instances where Pliskova and Osaka have crossed paths on the tour. The Czech presently leads by 2-1 although, two of those three encounters took place in 2018.
The first one came at the Indian Wells Open, where Osaka defeated her adversary in the quarters to be eventually crowned as the champion. They met later that year in the final of WTA Tokyo. Pliskova won that tournament after defeating the Japanese in straight sets.
Pliskova v Osaka Tips & Predictions
A strong part of Pliskova’s game has been her ability to keep her unforced errors at a minimum. This is something that Osaka needs to improve, considering that she is prone to making errors on several occasions. This, coupled with Pliskova’s momentum and experience, will make her the favourite for this match. However, it can very well go either way.
You can watch & bet on Karolina Pliskova v Naomi Osaka live with bet365 here on Thursday, January 24.