Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza will meet for the seventh time in quarterfinal action at the BNP Paribas Open. Pliskova has only having lost 2 matches while Muguruza is still looking for consistency after her 2016 Roland Garros title. This is the pair’s second encounter in Indian Wells.
(3) Karolina Pliskova (No.3) vs (7) Garbine Muguruza (No.7)
Overview: Karolina Pliskova has been magnificent so far. The World No.3 has collected two Premier titles this year, in Brisbane and Doha. Her only losses in 2017 came to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in Melbourne and to Kristina Mladenovic in Dubai. However, the Czech is hardly in her best form this week. She had to battle past Monica Puig in three sets in her opener (Puig was up 3-0 in the decider) and beat Irina-Camelia Begu in two tough sets. Begu even had set points in the second. In the fourth round against Timea Bacsinszky, the Swiss had to retire down 1-5 due to a left wrist injury.
Garbine Muguruza is having a fine week of her own. Muguruza ripped past Kirsten Flipkens in the second round before having a struggle in the third round against Kayla Day. The World No.7 dropped the first set but managed to clinch the second set in a tight one, before easing through in the decider. Then came Elina Svitolina, who was on a 15-match winning streak. Even though Svitolina admitted she was feeling fatigue from her tight schedule in February, she played well, fighting from a deficit in the first set but dropped it in a tiebreaker. The World No.10 then took the second set but Muguruza claimed a tasty, refreshing bagel in the decider to punch her ticket in the last 8.
Head to head: Pliskova leads the head to head by 5-1 but she has won all her previous encounters against Muguruza on hard courts. Three of the five were decided in straight sets.
Thoughts: I’ll stick to Pliskova on this one. Pliskova is the favourite to win the title and I think her best tennis will show through in this match, booming big serves and dictating with her forehand. Going for three, but I suspect Pliskova will be very strong and could even take it in two sets.
Prediction: Pliskova to defeat Muguruza in three sets