WTA Finals Day 2 Predictions: Karolina Pliskova vs Elina Svitolina and Bianca Andreescu vs Simona Halep

US Open Bianca Andreescu

Play begins for the Purple Group on Monday, Day 2 of the WTA Finals. Bianca Andreescu, Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, and Elina Svitolina will begin their campaigns for the WTA Year End title, and their share of the enormous $14 million prize money.  Not only will the champion claim an amazing $4.7 million prize, they’ll add at least 750 points to their ranking. With close contenders for the World #1 spot, it’s clearly a boon for this elite tournament’s winner.

Here’s a look at Monday’s matches and predictions for who’ll win the first round robins in the Purple Group.

WTA Finals Day 2 Predictions

Karolina Pliskova vs Elina Svitolina

Head to head: Pliskova 5-3 Svitolina

The ninth meeting of Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina has the two battling in the Purple Group’s opening round. After eight meetings, it’s clear that these two are familiar with each other’s game. Svitolina is the defending titleholder still looking for her first title of 2019. Pliskova has won more titles in 2019 than any other player, lifting the trophies in Brisbane, Rome, Eastbourne and Zhengzhou.

Pliskova is a powerful player capable of hitting anyone off the court. Yet, we’ve seen the Czech’s serve go askew or forehands fail to find their mark. It will be important for the lefty to start strong, with balls finding their mark. It seems Pliskova can play her best when it matters most as evidenced by her five final appearances, her 2019 Australian Open run and her four titles.

Elina Svitolina is not threatened by power players. Rather, the Ukrainian is capable of retrieving nearly any shot and working her way back into points which would leave most player stymied. Undoubtedly, it hasn’t been the year Svitolina had hoped for. Title-less after five semifinal appearances must extract a mental toll. Down to the wire, this is Svitolina’s last chance to claim a 2019 title.

Svitolina has great hands and won’t be afraid to come to the net. It will allow the 2018 champion to end points on her terms. Opening up the court and using her backhand down the line gives Svitolina a clear path to victory. Furthermore, Svitolina’s ability to keep the ball in play will frustrate Pliskova who prefers to end points with her power. If Svitolina can maintain her mental fortitude, she’ll chalk up the win.
Prediction: Svitolina in 3

Embed from Getty Images

Bianca Andreescu vs Simona Halep

Head to head: First meeting

The US Open winner will meet the Wimbledon winner, in the Purple Group’s opening day. Interestingly, both Andreescu and Halep confirmed their spots on September 30th.

Bianca Andreescu has been nothing short of unstoppable, hence reaching her maiden WTA Final. Starting the year ranked World #152, the Canadian phenom now holds the #6 spot. Andreescu has won three of the biggest hard court tournaments: Indian Wells, the Rogers Cup, and the US Open. The 19-year-old owns one of the most diverse games in the WTA tour. It seems there is no shot outside this rising star’s capabilities. Power, placement, slice, spin, loft and drop shots – opponents never know what to expect of the Andreescu racquet. The only thing they know is the Canadian teenager can fight through any match. She’s pulled out a win when down a set and with match points against her. An uncanny ability to shift momentum and battle has landed this young star in this most prestigious tournament.

Simona Halep’s in form start to 2019  saw her reach the finals in Doha and Madrid. Yet, the Romanian superstar found defeat in the most unlikely situations. American teen phenom ended Halep’s French Open title defense in the quarterfinals. How did the spunky Romanian respond? By lifting the title at Wimbledon. A cagy player, Halep can retrieve well and return with craft.

It’s an interesting match up between two players without any history. Meeting for the first time in Shenzhen will challenge both. Halep’s stellar defense against Andreescu’s strategic variety ensures a popcorn match for viewers. I give the edge to Andreescu who learns and adjusts as matches progress.
Prediction: Andreescu in 3

Main Photo from Getty.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I agree that Svitolina has the edge against Pliskova, which will be a matter of footwork I believe. I find Pliskova very fragile on her backhand this year. As to Simona, I agree she can take revenge in a strange way, but her injuries are very heavy and I’ll think that by now every top eight player will know how to deal with her. Svitolina in three, Andreescu in two.

  2. I totally agree Maarten. Svitolina is a lot stronger mentally than Pliskova who tends to drop the ball for no apparent reason.
    LWOT writers always qualify ” Depends on which Halep fronts up”. Here, even if the right Halep turns up, she’ll find Adreescu a different kettle of fish to Williams, and will not have things her own way.

  3. It is amazing to see someone write whole reviews trying to sound so professional and competent, meanwhile calling Pliskova a ‘lefty’.
    She’s as right handed as they come. Obviously you haven’t watched a game played by Karolina. And the analysis is totally wrong, she’ll beat Svitolina. Just on form, 4 titles against none for the year speaks volume to how Karolina has improved

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