World No. 7 Karolina Pliskova has so far started in 2019 and wins the title in Brisbane, reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open and the quarters in Dubai and Indian Wells, building confidence before another major tournament of the season in Miami.
Delivering mighty impressive tennis, Karolina is through to the 22nd WTA final and the biggest since the United States Open 2016, which beat 2nd seed Simona Halep 7-5, 6-1 for an hour and 14 minutes to set Ashleigh Barty clash. It was rain that caused Pliskova more trouble than the Romanian, who missed a chance to pass Naomi Osaka and become world no.
1 again, however, with a few delays and delayed after 1 AM! This was their ninth meeting on the trip and the third victory for the Czech Republic, the second in a row after Madrid last year after a big screen on both serving and returning.
Pliskova lost only 18 points in ten service games that hit two breaks, but quickly deleted the deficit with a dominant return screen, which saw her win more than half of the points behind Simona's first shot and scored five pauses from seven chances.
The Czech player had 23 winners and 16 undisturbed mistakes dictating the pace of the exchanges and left Halep at a negative 14-20, unable to impose his shot or to defend himself better against deep and strong attacks from the other side of the net.
Simona drew first blood in the fifth game with a perfect backhand down the line winner and lost the advantage already in the next game when her forehand landed long. Karolina hit a double error to suffer another break in games seven, which allowed the Romanian to serve openly at 5-4, where she broke back in love, as Simona netted a backhand to score and expand the set.
Karolina had the moment now and kept in love in the 11th game with a forehand winner and secured another break in the following game thanks to a fantastic defense pushing her 7-5 up, knocking out the last four games in the set for a turnaround.
Simona disappeared from the court after that and lost the serve in the second game in the second set, when Pliskova placed a forehand winner and again at 0-3 and a loose advance that pushed the Czech Republic further ahead. Looking to win after another rain delay, Karolina held at 15 in game 7 to seal the deal and move on to the title match, where she will meet the newly-crowned top 10-star Ashleigh Barty.