Karolina Pliskova huffed and puffed on her way to beat Jelena Ostapenko in a three-set battle in Stuttgart on Thursday. The sixth seed, Pliskova, lost the first set but came back strongly to register a 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 second round win. The 2018 Stuttgart champion, Pliskova, needed less than two and a half hours to secure the win. She will next face World No.1 Ashleigh Barty in the quarterfinals of Stuttgart’s WTA clay-court tournament.
Thursday’s result was similar to Pliskova’s win over Ostapenko in the 2018 quarterfinals in Stuttgart. Back then the Czech player went on to capture the title. Three years later, Ostapenko called the shots in the first half of the match after an early wobble.
🇨🇿 @KaPliskova turns it around against Ostapenko 🌪
— wta (@WTA) April 22, 2021
The Latvian was 2-4 down in the opening set, but came strongly to stage a fightback. Her aggressive approach started to yield results as she saw off three break points at 5-5. Further, she saved a set point in the ensuing tiebreak before bagging the set 7-6.
Ostapenko looked to be in control in the second set before the Czech raised her game. The Latvian player fought back, but Pliskova was more composed in the second set to see it out eventually 6-4.
The Czech player was at a different level in the decider. Pliskova’s serve was her main weapon. She produced 10 aces in the final set alone. The former World No.1 got the crucial break for 4-2. She then produced a pair of double faults while serving for the match. However, it did not cost her as the 29-year-old sealed the match in less than two and a half hours.
In 2018, Pliskova defeated Ostapenko en route to the Stuttgart title. In order to repeat that feat, she has to beat the World No.1 Ashleigh Barty in a tough quarterfinal battle.