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WTA Ladies Tennis From Madrid • Thomas From 10sBalls Makes Some Semi – Finals Picks

Czech tennis player Petra Kvitova in action against Daria Kasatkina of Russia during their women’s single quarterfinals match of the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament played at Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain, 10 May 2018. EPA-EFE/KIKO HUESCA



Big hitters feature in loaded Madrid semifinals


It has been a slightly unusual week in the Spanish capital, as usually is, with some unexpected big-hitters dominating this week in Madrid. With the altitude of Madrid and the faster conditions of the Caja Magica, powerful players such as Karolina Pliskova and two-time champion Petra Kvitova have excelled, using the conditions to their advantage to take down traditional clay-court stalwarts.


The Mutua Madrid Open has already showcased plenty of surprises but will the last four have more in store? Here is a look at the two WTA semifinals in Madrid:


Karolina Pliskova vs. Petra Kvitova

No two players have utilized the fast conditions of the Caja Magica and played more dominantally this week than the Czech duo of Pliskova and Kvitova, with both backing up their strong starts to the clay-court season at this WTA Premier Mandatory event. Pliskova, long not a fan of the dirt, has seen her best tennis of 2018 on red clay, finding her serve again and taking the title in Stuttgart en route to her semifinal showing in Madrid. The big-serving Czech, the sixth seed this week, played possibly her best match of the season in a near-perfect display of power tennis on a clay-court to knock off two-time defending champion Simona Halep and that’s exactly what she’ll need to against countrywoman Kvitova.


After a knife attack threatened her life and career at the end of 2016, Kvitova has fought valiantly with incredible courage, coming back to the game and winning an incredible four titles in the mere 12 months she has been back on tour. An emotional title run last week at home in Prague saw the two-time Wimbledon champion truly assert herself as a contender in Madrid and Kvitova has played like it this week, knocking off Anett Kontaveit and Daria Kasatkina in back-to-back matches to reach the last four.


Pliskova and Kvitova last played three years ago in Sydney in 2015 and lots has changed since then. With both of the Czech woman possessing big serves and powerful games, it will likely come down to the big points and with her clutch serving the last month, look for Pliskova to just make it over the finish line.

Prediction: Pliskova in three sets


Caroline Garcia vs. Kiki Bertens

Sneaking under the radar throughout this week, seventh-seeded Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia has played well and shown continued consistency as she has through much of 2018. Adapting her all-court game to the Madrid dirt, Garcia, a French Open quarterfinalist in 2017, is yet to drop a set this week including routine wins over 2016 finalist Dominika Cibulkova and Julia Goerges.


While Garcia is yet to be challenged in the Spanish capital, no one is on a roll this week in Madrid like recently-crowned Charleston champion Kiki Bertens. Having kicked her clay-court season off early with a first WTA Premier title, the Dutchwoman has shown her prowess on the dirt all week in Madrid, blasting reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki and two-time French Open winner Maria Sharapova off the court in back-to-back matches.


Bertens is no stranger to success on clay, having made the last four at Roland Garros in 2016, and with the faster conditions at the Caja Magica, expect Bertens to keep her run of big-hitting, clay-court tennis going against the solid Garcia.

Prediction: Bertens in straight sets

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