Montreal 2021: Aryna Sabalenka vs Karolina Pliskova preview, head-to-head & prediction | National Bank Open

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka
Gauri Awasthi

Match details

Fixture: (1) Aryna Sabalenka vs (4) Karolina Pliskova

Date: 14 August 2021

Tournament: National Bank Open 2021

Round: Semifinals

Venue: IGA Stadium, Montreal, Quebec

Category: WTA 1000

Surface: Outdoor hard

Prize money: $1,835,490

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Aryna Sabalenka vs Karolina Pliskova preview

Top seed Aryna Sabalenka will take on familiar foe Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals of the National Bank Open in Montreal on Saturday. While Sabalenka dispatched Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals, Pliskova eased to a 6-4, 6-0 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Sabalenka has had a phenomenal season thus far. She started the year with a title in Abu Dhabi and advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time.

She carried her good form into the clay season, making the final in Stuttgart before losing to Ashleigh Barty. But she gained revenge over the Australian by defeating her in the Madrid Open final to win her 10th career title.

The World No. 3 then made great strides on grass, registering her best result at a Major by reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon.

Sabalenka's momentum was halted by an early exit at the Tokyo Olympics, but she has bounced back strongly in Montreal this week. The Belarusian, who has won a tour-leading 38 matches this season, is just two wins away from yet another trophy.

Karolina Pliskova
Karolina Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova, meanwhile, has blown hot and cold this year. After a mediocre start to the season, the 29-year-old progressed to the final in Rome for the third year on the trot. She also produced a terrific run to the final of Wimbledon, where she lost to World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty.

She has carried her momentum to Montreal, where she has beaten the likes Donna Vekic, Amanda Anisimova and Sorribes Tormo en route to the semifinals. A win over Sabalenka will move her one step closer to a 17th career title and first since January last year.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Karolina Pliskova head-to-head

Aryna Sabalenka and Karolina Pliskova have met thrice before and the Belarusian leads the head-to-head 2-1. However, their most recent encounter, which took place in the semifinals of Wimbledon, was won by Pliskova in three sets.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Karolina Pliskova prediction

Sabalenka and Pliskova are both aggressive baseliners who hit powerful, flat shots from the back of the court.

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka

Both also possess strong serves, although Sabalenka is prone to coughing up double faults under pressure. Against Azarenka in the quarterfinals, her seven aces were offset by an equal number of double faults. She did, however, win close to 75% of the points on her first serve, which will hold her in good stead against the Czech.

Sabalenka is also the better mover of the two players, which could give her the edge in this contest. If the Belarusian can keep a check on her unforced errors, she should be able to thwart the challenge of Pliskova.

Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka to win in three sets.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram

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