Karolina Pliskova, the No.3 seed and Svetlana Kuznetsova will meet in the BNP Paribas Open semifinals. The pair has split their two previous meetings. This match will be a high quality encounter to behold.
(3) Karolina Pliskova (No.3) vs (8) Svetlana Kuznetsova (No.8)
Overview: Karolina Pliskova has acquitted herself well in the Desert. This is the Czech’s second semifinal in a row in Indian Wells. Pliskova struggled in her opening round encounters against Monica Puig and Irina-Camelia Begu, but benifitted from Timea Bacsinszky’s withdrawal in the fourth round. A hard-hitting opponent in the form of Garbiñe Muguruza appeared in the quarterfinals, and she overcame deficits in both sets to take the match in straights. She hasn’t been at her best so far, but it was enough to reach the semifinals here.
Svetlana Kuznetsova has also been through tough times here in Indian Wells. She needed a tiebreaker in the first set against Johanna Larsson to get past her in strsights, then battled past Roberta Vinci in three. Kuznetsova wrecked Caroline Garcia 6-1 6-4 and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3 6-2 to set up a clash with the Czech.
Head to head: The head to head record between them is split at one win apiece. Both matches occurred on hard courts, with the most recent one going to Kuznetsova in three sets at the WTA Finals in Singapore. Their first meeting was in Cincinnati in 2016, and that match went to Pliskova, also in three.
Thoughts: Pliskova hasn’t been at her best here, but I think that her serve and forehand will shine through in this match. Kuznetsova likes the surface (slow, just like her win at the WTA Finals) but Pliskova has made two semifinals in a row here and I think the latter will be too strong. Nevertheless, this is going to be such a high-quality match and I can’t wait to watch it. The 2 semifinals are both in night session so I’m able to watch the matches!
Prediction: Pliskova to beat Kuznetsova in three