Miami Open 2019, Semi-Finals: Simona Halep vs Karolina Pliskova, Preview and Prediction
The second semi-final in the women’s singles category of the 2019 Miami Open will witness a face-off between the hard-hitting Karolina Pliskova and possibly the best retriever in women’s tennis – Simona Halep.
This will be the eleventh match between the two. The Romanian has dominated this rivalry so far, winning seven out of ten matches. On hard courts, Halep has won six matches to the Czech's two.
Their most recent meeting also went Halep’s way, where she got the better of Pliskova in the Fed Cup, in the process helping Romania to an unlikely victory over the defending Champions.
Both of them come into this match on the back of some inconsistent performances, with the victor likely to be considered the overwhelming favourite to lift the title.
Halep began the tournament well with a pretty one-sided drubbing of Taylor Townsend. But she survived by the skin of her teeth against an inspired Polona Hercog in her second match. However, she followed that up with her most impressive performance of the tournament, against Venus Williams.
She had an especially memorable day on her own serve, where she kept a whopping 89 percent of her first serves in, winning 76 percent of those points and incredibly winning all the points on her second serve. She had a dip in her serving form in her last match against Wang Qiang. Though she won in straight sets, she was broken five times in the match.
She would like to improve her performance against her semi-final opponent. Unlike Wang, the big-serving Pliskova may not offer many chances to Halep to break. After two back-to-back three set wins, Pliskova had a rather easy match in her quarterfinal against Marketa Vondrousova.
She was broken just once and will certainly have a chance against Halep if she continues serving in the same vein.
Prediction: Simona Halep to win in 3 Sets