Palmerbet Sports Team’s daily preview goes to the net with Australian Open tips for Serena Williams’ quarter-final showdown with Karolina Pliskova.
15:30 (AEDT), Thu 24th Jan @ Melbourne Park
History: Played 3: Pliskova 2 V Osaka 1
Last Meeting: Indian Wells, 2018 (QF): Osaka d Pliskova 6-2 6-3
Final Thoughts: Semi-final adversaries Karolina Pliskova and Naomi Osaka have one pertinent thing in common: a staggering recent upset of Serena Williams in a grand slam.
Osaka clinched her first major with a famous defeat of the G.O.A.T. in last year’s US Open final. But Pliskova’s incredible comeback win over Williams in the Australian Open quarters also deserves a niche in tennis folklore.
The seventh seed came from a 5-1 down in the final set, saving four match points to stun Williams 6-4 4-6 7-5. It was undoubtedly one of the all-time great revivals. Fourth seed Osaka made short work of in-form sixth seed Elina Svitolina in the quarters, 6-4 6-1.
Osaka is into her second straight grand slam semi, but had not previously been past the fourth round. Pliskova has been to two semis at majors. She beat Williams at the 2016 US Open (before losing to Angelique Kerber in the final) and lost at the 2017 French Open to Simona Halep.
We have a handy sample size of the duo’s recent meetings, with all three of their previous clashes coming in the past 18 months.
Pliskova won their maiden clash at the 2017 Rogers Cup. Osaka squared the ledger in the quarters at Indian Wells last year. But Pliskova prevailed 6-4 6-4 in their biggest match to date, the final of the Japan Open in October – just a month after Osaka’s slam breakthrough.
Both players are on a one-day turnaround, which plays into Osaka’s hands. Pliskova’s taxing Williams assignment took twice as long to complete as Osaka’s beating of Svitolina.
Narrow favourite Osaka has been the more consistent player throughout the Australian Open, while she should be fresher. But we think she’s going to need three sets to subdue the gritty Pliskova.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN TIPS
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