By Ros Satar

  • Katie Boulter def. Barbora Krejcikova 6-3 1-6 6-3
  • Faces top seed and WTA Finals contender, Karolina Pliskova
TIANJIN, CHINA – British No.3 Katie Boulter battled her way into a second quarter-final at WTA tour level, where she will meet top seed Karolina Pliskova.

 

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Katie Boulter def. Barbora Krejcikova 6-3 1-6 6-3

Having downed No. 8 seed Maria Sakkari, British No. 3 Katie Boulter had a bit of a fight on her hands as she fought past reigning Roland Garros and Wimbledon doubles champion Barbora Krejcikova.

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Boulter was aggressive from the start, jumping out to a 3-0 lead, but the young Czech who was under the guidance of Slam great, the late Jana Novotna, was not without some fighting spirit of her own as she pegged the Brit back before dropping her serve once more.

Boulter drilled out the set to love, and started the second set with an immediate break, but it all unravelled a bit as she was broken three times in a row, on the way to Krejcikova levelling the match.

As was the pattern throughout this match, it was another early break for the Brit, who has cracked the Top 100 with this win, in the live rankings. She was pegged back immediately but grabbed a break at the end of the set, before serving out for the match.

 

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Boulter v Karolina Pliskova [1/WC] | First Meeting

Karolina Pliskova in the semi-final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, WTA Stuttgart 3018

Karolina Pliskova in the semi-final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, WTA Stuttgart 3018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

With World No. 6 Karolina Pliskova still battling in the coming weeks in the Porsche Race to Singapore, any points the Czech can grab will help the fight for the last three spaces. Up next for her is a first-time match-up with Boulter.

Both have an aggressive game, and Pliskova’s serve speaks for itself – when it is firing. It does have its off days from time to time and Pliskova has not had things all her own way this week. After starting her first match strongly with the loss of just two games, she was edged out in the second set tie-break, against Varvara Lepchenko.

Her second-round match was a lot more forceful, as she coasted into the quarter-final for the loss of just three games. With both hoping to score free points off their serve, Boulter will need her forehand to be more hit than miss, and Pliskova’s record and experience speaks for itself. Not only can she control the game from the back of the court, but her handy doubles experience make her a decent prospect at the net, not matter how many times she might complain at being made to run.

Pliskova’s movement is an area that has improved a lot, and we expect her to have more fire-power at this stage than Boulter.

Prediction: Pliskova in straight sets.

Boulter & Pliskova are scheduled on Centre Court at 11:30 (4:30am BST).

 

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