Mutua Madrid Open, QF Prediction
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇨🇿 (6) Karolina Pliskova
All signs point to a Halep victory here. Firstly, this is a great match-up for Halep and a nightmare match-up for Pliskova. Halep arguably has the best return of serve on tour and that spells trouble for Pliskova because it takes away her greatest weapon. Halep has a great read on the Pliskova serve and really limits Pliskova’s ace count. Halep has a 6-1 H2H record over Pliskova, 5 of those wins were in straight sets including an easy win for Halep earlier this year in Melbourne, clearly this is a great match-up for Halep.
Secondly, the conditions in Madrid favour Halep. Halep is on a 15-match winning streak in Madrid, the two-time defending champion loves the conditions in Madrid, probably more so than anywhere else on tour. Conversely this is the first time Pliskova has reached the final 8 in Madrid and despite some good results on clay of late I would still consider clay to be her least preferred surface and the surface that gives her the smallest chance to beat Halep. Once Halep gets into a medium-long rally against Pliskova she is a huge favourite to win the point, a clay court gives her great opportunity to get into this position frequently.
Halep is playing well this week, there are no signs that she will slip up here.