Karolina Pliskova vs Petra Kvitova Tennis Prediction
Kvitova’s 24-match winning streak against Czech players (dating back to May 2012) was broken by Pliskova twin, Kristyna at Charleston last month. Nonetheless, she heads into the semifinal with a 2-0 record against Pliskova, with their last meeting coming at 2015 Sydney (first at 2014 Wuhan).
Karolina Pliskova News
Karolina Pliskova put on a stellar show at Caja Magica to knock out the two-time defending champion and world #1 Simona Halep in straight sets (6-4 6-3) taking just over an hour’s time, and in the process, extends her winning streak on clay to nine matches.
It was Pliskova’s second win over a world #1, having defeated Serena Williams in the semifinals of 2016 US Open, resulting in her only slam final (l. Kerber). This win over Halep follows her victory over two slam champions this week, Stephens and Azarenka.
The former world #1 arrived at Madrid fresh off winning her biggest title on clay at Stuttgart, defeating French Open champion Ostapenko, Kiki Bertens (semifinalist this week) and Coco Vandeweghe. Her only other clay title was 2015 Prague (d. Hradecka).
Pliskova had three Madrid main draw wins before this week, but she now bids for her first Premier Mandatory final, having lost the semifinals of Indian Wells (2016-17) and Miami (2017). She has already won more clay matches in 2018 than all of 2017, which included a French Open semifinal.
Petra Kvitova News
Petra Kvitova sets up a Czech derby after she rolls into her fourth Madrid semifinal, thrashing Daria Kasatkina 6-4 6-0 in 65 minutes. Winning a whopping 86% on her first serve points, Kvitova dispatched 26 winners and committed a manageable 18 unforced errors.
Like Pliskova, Kvitova is also on a nine-match winning streak on clay, having lifted her first WTA title on home soil last week (d. Buzarnescu). It was her fourth title in the past year after Birmingham (grass), St. Petersburg (indoor hard) and Doha (outdoor hard).
The two-time Wimbledon champion is the only Czech to have reached a Madrid final and has lifted this red clay title twice, in 2011 (d. Azarenka) and 2015 (d. Kuznetsova). Moreover, the Czech boasts a 24-6 record in Madrid main draw in nine appearances.
Kvitova has a chance to end up in the second position of the WTA Race with a title this week. Moreover, she leads the tour in most match wins so far this season with 28 wins, followed by the world #1 Halep (25).
Tennis Prediction: Petra Kvitova