WTA Western and Southern Open, Cincinnati, Semi Final: Pliskova v Muguruza, 5pm

Pliskova 1.61, Muguruza 2.60

Pliskova leads their previous meetings 6-1. Their last match was in March this year in Indian Wells. Pliskova won on a hard court in 2 tiebreak sets.

Defending champion Pliskova

Muguruza’s win was their first encounter in 2013. She won at the French Open on clay in 3 sets.

Pliskova has won 83% of her hard court matches this year compared to 71% for Muguruza. She has lost just 1 set so far this week. That was to Italian Camila Giorgi in her second match of the tournament. In the quarter final she might have expected a tougher match with Wozniacki but the Dane didn’t put up too much of a fight and only had 1 break chance which Pliskova saved.  Pliskova is the defending champion this week having beaten Kerber in the final last season.

Muguruza has had to work a little harder for her place in the semis. Her first match against qualifier Haddad Maia was straight forward enough and he lost just 2 games. In the next round Madison Keys put her under a lot of pressure and she served for the match in the third set. Muguruza broke her serve and won the match in a tie break but not before Keys had 4 match points.  She was to be put under more pressure by Kuznetsova in the quarter final. Kuznetsova had 15 break points and she managed to break the Muguruza serve 5 times. In the end Muguruza came through 7-5 in the third set. Last season she reached the semi finals where Pliskova beat her comfortably in straight sets

This should be a decent match and the sets will be closer than they were in last year’s semi final. I favour Pliskova but will wait for 1.85 or better before backing her.

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