I think Pliskova made this a real match if I’m honest. She played well, in the second set she took it to Halep with big serving and blitzing ground strokes. It was probably her downfall to a certain extent, errors in the decider settling it. I think the tactics were spot on, if she was going to lose she would go down swinging! It is another big test passed for Halep, there remains the final hurdle in what will be the toughest of all. She kept calm today and let her superior grounds strokes and movement take care of it, she didn’t panic. She just has to deal with the pressure and of course Jelena Ostapenko and she is there! The holy grail! Ostapenko can be patchy at times but when she is hot, she is smoking! Bacsinszky is surely one of the toughest competitors to get into a match with right now. A bit like Vinci you could say in her prime, a potential headache for opponents. The Latvian dealt with it and I thought composed herself well to finish it off. I don’t think that Bacsinzsky seemed too troubled after she took a medical timeout after a slip. She had her thigh bandaged but I didn’t feel her movement was compromised, I could easily be wrong about that! Like Halep, it is all about Ostapenko keeping it in check on the day. As I say, she composed herself well at the end today but she will also need to do that in the final. You cannot dispute Ostapenko’s potential but will it all become too much on Saturday? There were times during the match when she looked like she was going to break down! Halep will go in a strong favourite, around a 76% chance in terms of my industry. The Romanian should win this don’t get me wrong but if Ostapenko starts firing winners there isn’t all that much you can do about it. Sometimes the younger generation come into these finals feeling no pressure when you would expect them to be bricking it! Over the course of three sets, I do expect Halep to win, her consistency and big game experience should be vital. Now it’s time for her to step up!
Andy Del Potro