Roland Garros, 🇫🇷🐌 Quarter-Final Preview + Prediction
QF #4: (2) 🇨🇿 Karolina Pliskova vs (28) 🇫🇷 Caroline Garcia
The fourth and final quarter-final at Roland Garros is arguably the most exciting of the quartet as Karolina Pliskova takes on Caroline Garcia. Both Pliskova and Garcia will be in unprecedented territory heading into the final 8 clash, Pliskova had ever been past the second round at Roland Garros prior to this event whilst Caroline Garcia will be playing in her very first quarter-final at the Grand Slam level having never reached the second week of a Slam prior to this event. There has previously been very little to separate these two when they have gone head-to-head, their four previous meetings have been split, two wins apiece. The scene is set for a tight contest.
Despite entering the tournament as the second seed, expectations weren’t necessarily too high for Karolina Pliskova heading into the second Grand Slam of the year. Pliskova has never been too comfortable on a clay court and had never made it past the second round in Paris prior to this year’s event. Pliskova has defied the odds to reach the quarter-final stage, her third consecutive quarter-final appearance at the Grand Slam level. It must be said that Pliskova has benefited from a favourable draw having not faced a seeded opponent on route to the final 8. Pliskova has recorded wins over Saisai Zheng, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Carina Witthoeft and finally a 2-6 6-3 6-4 win over Veronica Cepede-Royg.
Caroline Garcia is having the breakthrough tournament that she has threatened to have for years. Garcia is finally making some noise on the biggest stage, but it also must be said that Garcia has also benefited from a relatively favourable draw having also not faced a seeded opponent on route to the final 8. Garcia started her run to the final 8 with straight set wins over Nao Hibino and Chloe Pacquet before surviving an almighty scare on route to a 6-4 4-6 9-7 win over Su-Wei Hsieh. Garcia’s most impressive performance of the week came in the fourth round as produced a dominant display to defeat Alize Cornet 6-2 6-4. Garcia will look to build off that performance as she aims to upset the second seeded Pliskova on Wednesday.
The head-to-head record between Pliskova and Garcia is split at two wins apiece. Caroline Garcia has won 2 of their last 3 matches including their only previous match on a clay court, a 6-2 4-6 6-1 win at the Mutua Madrid Open in 2015. It was Karolina Pliskova who won their most recent match, a 7-5 6-4 win in Doha earlier this year.
I’m going to give the edge to Caroline Garcia here, mostly because the surface in Paris severely suits the Frenchwoman. Clay is Garcia’s best surface whilst clay is Pliskova’s worst surface. Pliskova may have been in similar situations throughout the event but Garcia is the first player with the quality to punish Pliskova and expose her weaknesses on the surface. Garcia can match the power of Pliskova on this surface whilst Garcia has far better movement and will have the vocal support of the crowd on her side. If Garcia holds her nerve and executes her game she will be too good for Pliskova.
Prediction: (28) Caroline Garcia to defeat (2) Karolina Pliskova in 3 sets