WTA Doha final preview: Caroline Wozniacki vs Karolina Pliskova

WTA Doha final preview: Caroline Wozniacki vs Karolina Pliskova

A rain-filled tournament sees it conclusion as the Dane and Czech battle for the championship in Qatar.

john-lupo
John Lupo

Caroline Wozniacki takes on second seed Karolina Pliskova in the finals of the Qatar Total Open on Saturday.

Pliskova is looking for her second Premier-level title this year, having already won in Brisbane last month while Wozniacki seeks her first tournament win of the season.

How they got here

Wozniacki has not lost a set en route to the final, defeating Kiki Bertens 6-2, 6-3 in the first round, fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3 in the second round, qualifier Lauren Davis 7-5, 6-1 in the quarterfinals and Monica Puig 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals, the last two matches both being completed yesterday.

Wozniacki has not dropped a set in Qatar during this rain-filled week/Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Wozniacki has not dropped a set in Qatar during this rain-filled week/Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Pliskova received a first-round bye as the second seed. She beat Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-4 in round two, Shuai Zhang 6-2, 6-0 in the quarterfinals, followed by a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over third seed Dominika Cibulkova in the semifinals.

Head-to-head

Wozniacki has won all three previous meetings with Pliskova, all three matches having gone three sets: 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of Miami in 2013, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of Monterrey in 2014 and a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 victory in the quarterfinals of Istanbul later that year.

How they match up

The game styles of the two players couldn't be more different. Wozniacki is a counterpuncher, relying on her defensive skills and movement, often frustrating opponents by getting a lot of balls back while using their pace and power against them.

Pliskova is very much a power player, using her serve and groundstrokes to dictate play, creating openings by hitting deep and finishing shots to open areas of the court.

Pliskova's serve will be a big key to the outcome of the match/Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Pliskova's serve will be a big key to the outcome of the match/Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The key to the match will be how well Wozniacki can hang on to her serve, keeping the pressure on the Czech and look to extend the rallies to extract errors. Pliskova will need to keep rallies short, dictate from the baseline and be patient during the inevitable extended points.

Outlook

Although Wozniacki has never lost to Pliskova, those wins were three and four years ago and the Czech is a far superior player now. The Dane has been experiencing a resurgence since reaching the semifinals of last year's U.S. Open and another title here would be no surprise at all, but Pliskova is surely playing too well to be denied her 11th career title.

Prediction: Pliskova in 2 sets

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