Wimbledon: Karolina Pliskova downs Aryna Sabalenka for maiden trip to final

Karolina Pliskova upset second seed Aryna Sabalenka in their semi-final to advance to the Wimbledon final. The eighth-seeded Czech came from a set down to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 53 minutes.

The match had two significant momentum shifts. The first came in the final moments of the first set when Sabalenka converted on her first break point chance – in the 12th game – to take the set. Earlier in the set, the Belarusian’s shaky serve saw her face eight break points but she saved them all with some good shot placement.

Wimbledon: Karolina Pliskova adds to her momentum

Pliskova rebounded strongly across the latter two sets. In the second set, the former world no. 1 broke Sabalenka to love in the fifth game and then consolidated the break at love. In the third set, Pliskova’s secured an opening for herself right in the first game of the set and then never looked back.

As the match progressed, between the two players, while Pliskova had a better grip on her shots, Sabalenka’s error count multiplied. Of the two semi-finalists, while there wasn’t much difference in terms of points won off first serves – Pliskova won 78% points to Sabalenka’s 75% – there was a significant difference in terms of their second-serve points won. Pliskova won 69% off her second serves to Sabalenka’s 48%. The Czech hit 38 winners and had 17 unforced errors while the world no. 4 hit 32 winners and had 20 unforced errors.

This is Karolina Pliskova’s first final at Wimbledon, and her second final at a Major after the 2016 US Open.

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