Simona Halep vs Karolina Pliskova Tennis Prediction
Halep trounces Pliskova in the head-to-head department by 6-1, with the one win for the Czech coming at 2016 Fed Cup (Cluj, Romania). Their recent notable encounters are 2017 French Open (Halep 6-4 3-6 6-3) and 2018 Australian Open (Halep 6-3 6-2).
Simona Halep News
Simona Halep recorded her 20th main draw win at Madrid by securing another comfortable victory this week against Kristyna Pliskova, 6-1 6-4. Along with her wins over Makarova (6-1 6-0) and Mertens (6-0 6-3), she has extended her winning streak at Madrid to 15.
The Romanian has been clinical on her serve this week, dropping the least number of games among the quarterfinalists (9) and saving nine of the ten break points. Her first serve win percentage has also been excellent, 71% (Makarova), 85% (Mertens) and 77% (Pliskova).
The two-time Madrid defending champion Halep entered the week having reached quarterfinals in all but one of six events contested this year (l. Radwanska at Miami). Apart from lifting this title twice, Halep is also the 2014 finalist (l. Sharapova, who is still in the draw).
The three-time slam finalist has a 42-19 record in tour-level quarterfinals (.688), but on clay, it improves to a w/l of 18-3 (.857). With 25 wins in the season, she is only trailing Kvitova (26). In 2017, she secured the second-most clay wins (18), behind Bertens (24).
Karolina Pliskova News
Karolina Pliskova registered her first win over the US Open champion Sloane Stephens, 6-2 6-3, in just 63 minutes. After getting broken early in the first set, Pliskova reeled off six games in a row to win it. In the second, the Czech faced five break points but saved all of them.
This is Pliskova’s first Madrid quarterfinal appearances in her sixth attempt, having lost in the second round in the past three years. This week, Pliskova defeated former Indian Wells champion Elena Vesnina and former #1 Azarenka, who had beaten her at Miami this year.
The Czech #1 has reached seven quarterfinals in 2018 (2-5), failing to do so only at Doha, where she lost to #48 CiCi Bellis. Last month, Pliskova lifted her 10th career title at Stuttgart, defeating Coco Vandeweghe in the final. It was her biggest clay title (won 2015 Prague).
Tennis Prediction: Simona Halep