Previewing Laura Siegemund taking on Karolina Pliskova in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix quarterfinals.
Laura Siegemund vs (2) Karolina Pliskova
Overview: Laura Siegemund had a horrible end to 2016 and started off badly in 2017 too, after the Rio 2016 Olympics Siegemund did not make a single quarterfinal until April 2017. Her 2016 ended with four straight losses, then the trend continued this year. The German lost another four matches until Dubai where she recorded a win over World No.127 Soler-Espinosa. Her woes continued, losing to three opponents ranked lower than her in Indian Wells and Miami. But just like last year, her season burst into life on her beloved clay. She made it to the semifinals of Charleston, with four straight Top 50 wins. (the previous time she achieved that feat was in last year’s Stuttgart tournament!) Once again she has done well in Stuttgart this year, capitalising on a wildcard with wins over Zhang Shuai and No.8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. She is in fine form to create more upsets this week.
On the contrary, Karolina Pliskova’s game has never been suited to the clay courts. Last year, Pliskova had only garnerned three Top 50 wins during the clay swing, and her best results was the Prague semifinals. Pliskova’ 2017 started way better than Siegemund, first clinching the Brisbane final then making the Australian Open quarterfinals. A title in Doha then arrived, then more good results came her way in the form of back to back semifinals in Indian Wells and Miami.
Head to head: It’s the pair’s first encounter, making it even more intriguing.
Thoughts: In my original full draw prediction, I went for Siegemund for this match up but leaning slightly towards Pliskova now. Her movement on clay seemed to be better in her win over Coco Vandeweghe yesterday, and the faster surface will definitely help Pliskova. However Siegemund is on fire in Stuttgart (out of five Top 10 wins in her career, four has came in Stuttgart!) and can certaintly record a sixth win here. Upset alert is truly on the cards in this one.
Prediction: Pliskova to beat Siegemund in three