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Pliskova vs Andreescu WTA Toronto Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Pliskova squares off against home favourite, Andreescu in Toronto quarters

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 9 Aug 2019
  • Karolina Pliskova vs Bianca Andreescu is live from Toronto on Friday, 9 August from 2:00pm local time/ 7:00pm BST
  • First meeting between Andreescu and Pliskova
Karolina Pliskova (PA Sport)

World No. 3, Karolina Pliskova attempts to reach the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup for the first time in her career when she takes on Canadian teenager, Bianca Andreescu on Friday.

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Competing at the Rogers Cup for the sixth time, this is only the second time Pliskova has made the last eight, matching her quarter final run in 2017.

The Czech opened her tournament with a three-set victory over American, Alison Riske, before overpowering hard-hitting Estonian, Anett Kontaveit 6-3 7-5 in the Round of 16 on Thursday. Kontaveit got the early break for the 2-1 lead, but Pliskova hit back immediately, winning seven of the next eight games to take a 6-3 2-0 lead. Kontaveit fought back to level the second set, but Pliskova once again upped the ante in the latter half of the set, winning four of the last five games to complete the win after an hour and 20 minutes, improving to 3-0 against Kontaveit.

The Czech won 80% of points behind her first serve, saving three of five break points, and converting four of the 11 opportunities she created.

“Well, for sure [my game is] better than it was maybe yesterday,” Pliskova said after the match. “So I guess it's going to get better every day with what I play. And I always was, I am, improving with matches, which I have".
Following Ashleigh Barty's surprise early exit from the Rogers Cup, Pliskova has got a chance to regain the world No. 1 ranking this week. The 27-year-old, who briefly held the top ranking between July and August 2017, must now reach the final to have a shot at being No. 1 next Monday, and will definitely return to the zenith of the women's game if she wins the title.

The Czech has put together another excellent campaign, compiling a 38-9 record for the season. Pliskova has claimed titles in Brisbane, Rome and Eastbourne, reached the final in Miami, and made the semi-finals at the Australian Open. She has now made the quarter finals or better in eight of her 13 tournaments this season, and will attempt to reach her sixth semi-final of 2019 when she takes on home hope, Andreescu on Friday. 

Andreescu arrived the 2019 Rogers Cup still seeking her first ever win at the tournament, but the Indian Wells champion has put together three terrific wins, delighting the crowd with three-set victories over compatriot, Eugenie Bouchard, Daria Kasatkina, and most recently, Kiki Bertens in the third round on Wednesday.

For now, the shoulder injury which has disrupted her season appears to be holding up, and she will attempt to get into her fourth semi-final of the year when she plays Pliskova on Friday. 

Andreescu made a superb start to the season, advancing to her maiden WTA final in her first tournament of the year in Auckland, beating Caroline Wozniacki, Venus Williams and Su-Wei Hsieh on the way before falling to Julia Goerges in the championship match, while she reached the semi-finals in Acapulco a few weeks later.

In between Auckland and Acapulco, she won the WTA 125K title at Newport Beach, but the highest point of her year (so far) was unarguably her sensational run to the Indian Wells title, beating Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina and Angelique Kerber in consecutive rounds to become the first wildcard to win the tournament. 

Andreescu started the year outside the world's top-100, but she shot up to 22nd after Indian Wells, and has maintained a top-30 ranking since then despite her subsequent injury problems. The Canadian is currently ranked 27th in the world. 

The teenager backed up that Indian Wells run by reaching the fourth round in Miami, beating Kerber again, but she was forced to retire from her Round of 16 tie against Anett Kontaveit due to a shoulder injury. She did not play again until the French Open, but that Roland Garros return proved to be premature, as she withdrew from a scheduled second round meeting with Sofia Kenin.

She has lasted a lot longer in Toronto, where she has survived three tough three-setters to reach the last eight.

"These last three matches were pretty crazy, but that's just how tennis goes. You have to find a way," Andreescu said after her 6-1 6-7 6-4 victory over Bertens. "Being off for that long and coming into the Rogers Cup and getting into the quarterfinals means so much to me. But at the same time, I'm not surprised because I've been playing a lot of matches, especially at the beginning of the year". 
"So I gained a lot of experience from that, and this time off actually really helped me. I figured a lot of things out and it's showing on the court."

Can the Canadian keep this run going by beating Pliskova on Friday?

"I'm going to study her, study where she likes to serve to, just so I can be ready for those return games… Because every point is important, so I'm trying to get as much as I can", the Canadian said about her next opponent.

Andreescu is 5-0 against top-ten players- all of those wins coming this year- but this will be her first meeting with Pliskova.

“Andreescu, we never played, not even practice, not even anything”, Pliskova offered. “So I just saw her a little bit on TV. So it would be interesting, of course challenging, to play her here in Canada.”

Andreescu's all-round game could potentially cause serious problems for Pliskova, but then again, she has got to be feeling the effects of three tough matches in Toronto, having been out of competition for a long time. As long as Pliskova maintains a good level, her big serve being the most important weapon, I reckon she will have just that little bit too much for the young Canadian.

Karolina Pliskova vs Bianca Andreescu is live from Toronto on Friday, 9 August from 2:00pm local time/ 7:00pm BST

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Pliskova vs Andreescu WTA Toronto Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Pliskova squares off against home favourite, Andreescu in Toronto quarters

Karolina Pliskova and Bianca Andreescu meet for the first time on Friday as they battle for a spot in the Rogers Cup semi-finals. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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