Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova both advances in the semifinals of the WTA finals

WTA Finals 2018: Stephens, Pliskova Try to End 2018 on a High

Sloane Stephens vs Karolina Pliskova

There are only three matches left in the 2018 women’s tennis calendar before we wait through a two-month break for the start of the 2019 season. Fans were taken for a rollercoaster after a year of superb plays from some of the best women to ever pick up a tennis racket.

All of the focus in women’s tennis is now at the WTA Finals as the semi-finals are about to be played. Four of the finest ladies in tennis have packed their bags and gone home. Only four remain in the chase of winning the title of WTA’s best.

Of the two matches on offer, the Sloane Stephens-Karolina Pliskova semi-final is the most intriguing. Both are popular even among the most casual of fans, and SBOBET predictions for this match is already through the roof.

Both are expected to entertain and provide us with entertaining tennis. There’s no doubt that these two will deliver that and more.

Talking Points

Sloane Stephens is happy that her debut appearance in the WTA Finals continues to payoff

Sloane Stephens waves to the crowd after winning her group stage match against Germany’s Angelique Kerber

Some would consider this as the bigger match rather than the Kiki Bertens vs Elina Svitolina match due to the star power of the two. Of course, Bertens and Svitolina is a superb tennis player with the play to back up her rank, but the farthest she’s been in any Grand Slam was the quarter-final of the 2016 Roland Garros.

Meanwhile, the two of them have some pedigree on their name after adding the US Open to their CVs. Stephens convincingly won the 2017 tournament and was a heavy favourite in the 2018 edition before bowing out of the quarter-final. Pliskova, meanwhile, won the 2016 title.

The big WTA Finals 2018 news that made this a must-watch semi-final is that the players expected to make it through were knocked out during the group stages. What’s more compelling is that these two had a hand on the usual suspects not making the semi-final.

Stephens impressively knocked out Angelique Kerber, the second-best player in the WTA Singles rankings, in straight sets. Naomi Osaka, who won this year’s US Open, was swept through the group stages.

Caroline Wozniacki also had her fair share of choking as she ended the group stage with a 1-2 record. Pliskova built a decent lead against the Wozniacki after coolly winning the first set, but the 28-year-old made the second set a fierce fight that Pliskova only won after keeping all of her games.

It’s actually hard for pundits to choose a victor in this game that some would think should have been the final. Both of these superb athletes have exciting styles that match the court really well. Sloane Stephens’ all-rounder approach and Pliskova’s preference for the serve-and-volley do well to the indoor hard courts in Singapore.

Moreover, this is the fifth and final time the WTA Finals will be hosted in the Lion City. Singapore was a gracious host to the competition, bringing a touch of class and excitement that is present in the island nation’s streets. It’s not a bad idea to win the last WTA Final in Singapore, and both of these ladies want the honour of being Singapore’s last WTA champion.

History

These two haven’t crossed paths much in their still-young careers, only meeting thrice since 2012. They have played each other in every surface they compete in, and the American has the edge over the Czech foe.

Stephens won in straight when they met in the early rounds of Wimbledon 2012. She won again in straight sets in Beijing three years later. Their latest duel was in Berlin, and Karolina outplayed her opponent in the clay, the game also won in straight sets.

Looking back to their 2018, both of these ladies have had a great year, but their fortunes in the Majors were far from stellar.

Stephens reached the final of the Roland Garros but fell to Simona Halep. She wasn’t able to defend her US Open crown as she was taken down in the quarter-final by Anastasija Sevastova. Meanwhile, Pliskova was stopped in the last eight of the Australian and US Opens.

Both of these women want their seasons to end on a high, and winning against their tough opponent is a must.

What are the odds?

Karolina Pliskova reached the semifinals of the WTA finals after eliminating Petra Kvitova

Karolina Pliskova warms up before her WTA Finals match against Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova

The Sloane Stephens vs Karolina Pliskova betting tips heavily favour the American, as she got a big -1.50 handicap for 2.53. Pliskova got 1.49 for the same amount of boost. If you believe that Pliskova’s strong play can win her the match, though, going for Money Line odds of 2.21 can help you win big bucks.

If you believe Stephens can win in straight sets, the Set Betting market offers an equally tasty 2.50 reward. Pliskova supporters will also be glad to know that bookies like SBOBET gave her 3.50 for a win in straight sets.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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