Pliskova: Halep has title in her hands
Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova lauds her conqueror Simona Halep as the Roland-Garros champion in waiting.
They were the two women’s semi-finalists with most to gain from a Roland-Garros triumph, with a maiden Grand Slam title and the No.1 ranking up for grabs.
For second seed Karolina Pliskova, a victory over Simona Halep on Thursday would have been enough to ensure she claimed top spot, but it matters little now. Halep kept her bid alive with a high-quality 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 defeat of the Czech.
Nevertheless, it’s a defeat the No.2 was only drawing positives from.
“I think I will beat 99 per cent of the girls with this tennis what I was playing today, so just unlucky that it was Simona today there,” Pliskova said. “I think she's one of the best on clay, maybe one of the best on this tournament.
"Even though I lost the match, I feel good with the way I played"
"She loves this tournament. She played final here a few years ago, and every year I think she's playing very well here. So was just tough and happy that I was so close to win it.
“Obviously I know or we all know I was playing for world No.1, but not that disappointed with this match.”
The straight-shooting 25-year-old had made no secret she was a work in progress on the red dirt. After her fourth-round victory over Veronica Cepede Royg, she sprouted matter-of-factly she expected to reach the quarter-final stage at Roland-Garros at some stage in her career – just not this year.
“Finally I can say I felt good on the court. And even though I lost the match, I feel good with the way how I played today. I was expecting I'm not gonna have almost any chances before the match, but I just somehow made it,” Pliskova said.
“And I was playing with Simona almost all the rallies, and I was even winning few. So that was the good point. That's for me quite positive to play this match with her on clay, you know … She's tough to beat on clay for me.”
Falling short to Halep in a high-quality shoot-out then, there was plenty of upside to Pliskova’s campaign as she heads to the grass.
Casting her thoughts to an Ostapenko vs Halep final where one of the two women will beat her to claiming their maiden slam, Pliskova was adamant of one thing.
“No doubt that Ostapenko she’s having a good run here, and she’s a dangerous player for everybody,” she said. “But I would bet everything what I have on Simona. Still doesn't have to happen, but I think she has it in her hands.”