Strolling through the entire second set without losing a point on serve, it was a one-sided performance from world number four Karolina Pliskova as she put in a perfect display to oust Anett Kontaveit in the semifinal of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, setting up a mouthwatering clash with Coco Vandeweghe in an unexpected final.
Pliskova finished the encounter blasting 22 winners and committing just nine errors alongside six aces, while Kontaveit’s errors overwhelmed her; producing 15 errors while being less successful when attempting for winners as well. She won just five return points all match, allowing Pliskova to have five consecutive love service holds to claim the win.
Pliskova edges through the tight first set
It was a shaky start from both players with errors leaking from everywhere, though it was Kontaveit who had the affirming service hold in the opening game as Pliskova gifted her several free points which allowed her to get on board within just a minute of play.
Taking her time to settle into the conditions, the Czech followed suit with a hold to 30, and the two points Kontaveit won on the return in that game took up 40 percent of return points she won throughout the evening.
Feeling what could be fatigue from yesterday’s marathon three-hour victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Kontaveit was unable to produce her best tennis although Pliskova was on the other end of the spectrum, keeping up her high level of play in the week despite being part of a marathon thriller against Jelena Ostapenko yesterday night as well, with their match ending at 12.10 am local time.
The Estonian threw in consecutive double-faults, allowing Pliskova to earn triple break points in the fifth game. Nonetheless, she found herself a lifeline after some solid hitting saw Kontaveit playing with nerves of steel, grinding out the tough service hold to remain on serve. A string of service holds continued to follow, until the crucial ninth game where Kontaveit’s forehand completely broke down, gifting Pliskova with her maiden breakthrough of the match.
Only one break of serve was enough as the former world number one comfortably served out the first set to love ultimately, looking flawless on her serve as she conceded just five points behind those solid deliveries throughout the set.
Pliskova easily seals the win in 65 minutes
A confidence-boosting service hold started the second set for Kontaveit, who was expected to lose the momentum in her game after the loss of the tight first set. Forehands were certainly a liability for the Estonian, who committed three errors on that wing to gift Pliskova the lead. It was one-way traffic for the servers in the upcoming minutes, with three straight love holds coming their way.
As the scoreline started to edge apart, the deficit got larger for Kontaveit and the situation became worse especially after losing a 40-0 lead on her serve, only to get broken eventually as the world number four edged closer than ever towards the finishing line. Winning a consecutive 23rd point on her serve, it was a terrific performance from the Czech as she sealed a spot in the final in Stuttgart for the first time in her career.