Mirjana Lucic-Baroni vs Karolina Pliskova takes place today in the Miami Open quarterfinal. Lucic-Baroni got the better of Pliskova in this year’s Australian Open quarterfinals; the Czech will be keen on revenge.
(26) Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (No.29) vs (2) Karolina Pliskova (No.3)
Overview: Mirjana Lucic-Baroni’s fairytale comeback just keeps on continuing on and on. At No.79 in the world, at the Australian Open, the Croat beat Wang Qiang, Agnieszka Radwanska, Maria Sakkari, Jennifer Brady, and Pliskova to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal since Wimbledon 1998 where she first burst into prominence. She then made another semifinal in Acapulco but was forced to retire to Lesia Tsurenko. She had a disappointing loss to Kayla Day in Indian Wells, but has since recovered in Miami, beating Kateryna Bondarenko in a comeback, then dismantled Radwanska again, and in the previous round beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands 7-5, 6-4.
Pliskova has again been very good in Miami, like she has been throughtout the year. The Czech reached the semifinals or better in Brisbane, Doha and Indian Wells; and had claimed titles in Brisbane and Doha. Pliskova will be aiming for a fourth semifinal berth if the year. Her performance in Indian Wells wasn’t the best, but she fought well and went far in the Desert, which is a promising sign for her. She has found her form in Miami, coming through her first three matches in straight sets. Pliskova dispatched Madison Brengle in the opening round for the loss of just four games. Pliskova was pushed harder by Yulia Putintseva in the third round, then saw off fellow countrywoman, Barbora Strycova in the fourth round.
Head to head: The players’ rivalry are tied at three wins apiece. Lucic-Baroni obviously beat Pliskova in their recent encounter, but Pliskova leads the HTH on hard courts, 3-2.
Thoughts: Both are merciless hard hitters, which results in a difficult predicament for me to predict the result. It will come down to who’s able to dictate with their forehand and make less unforced errors. Since Pliskova’s the higher ranked player, I’m going for her, but Lucic-Baroni stands a chance too.
Prediction: Pliskova to beat Lucic-Baroni in three