With the rain making a lengthy appearance on Friday, the organization has had to adjust the intended schedule at the WTA Rome Masters. Since Iga Swiatek and Elina Svitolina had yet to play their quarterfinal match, there’s only one confirmed semifinal on the women’s side at Foro Italico. But it should be a good one.
WTA Rome Semifinal Predictions
Karolina Pliskova vs Petra Martic
Head-to-head: Martic 4-2 Pliskova
Based on form, few would have predicted a semifinal between Pliskova and Martic, who entered the tournament 10-8 and 4-8 on the season respectively. The Czech dismissed Anastasija Sevastova and Vera Zvonareva in straights before overcoming an inspired Jelena Ostapenko. The Latvian led by a set and a break and, later on, missed a forehand passing shot on the run on match point.
Meanwhile, Martic has collected four consecutive victories after going winless since February. The Croat, who is being mentored by local hero and 2010 Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone, has surprisingly made the semis, a round her coach never reached in twenty participations in Rome. Tennis and its perennial unpredictability.
The matchup is interesting. They were both among the top European players of their generation growing up, so they’ve known each other for almost two decades. They’ve met six times with WTA points at stake, with Pliskova winning a couple of encounters on hard and Martic prevailing in two pairs of duels on grass and clay. None of the six precedents reached a third set, hence a good start is pivotal. The Croatian has an unusual take-back on the forehand side but she can open up the court and boasts a deft touch for drop shots.
Pliskova has a large wingspan, but she doesn’t feel the most comfortable when dragged forward to the net. Besides, because of Friday’s rain, the court is likely to play slow and heavy. The drop shots could be lethal if properly executed and that should give Martic a decisive edge.
Prediction: Martic in 2
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