“It is Annoying”: Simona Halep on Facing Rival Karolina Pliskova’s Powerful Serves

Published 12/11/2020, 7:00 AM EST
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – September 30, 2020 Romania’s Simona Halep in action during her second round match against Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu REUTERS/Charles Platiau


In the women’s world of tennis, the rivalry between Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova is popular. Both former World No. 1’s have shown a high level of competitiveness. Recently, the Romanian professional opened up on what frustrates her the most on the court.

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The two have faced one another eleven times in their long careers, including twice in Fed Cup; Halep leads their encounters by 7-4. While the 29-year-old Romanian is an aggressive baseliner, Karolina is known for her stormy serves. As a result, even after 22 WTA titles and 2 Grand Slams, Halep still cannot get away against a strong server.

“Not the kind of player that shoots a 200kmph serve”: Simona Halep

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At the 2020 French Open, Halep’s defeat against Iga Swiatek stopped her from being World No. 1 again. But since 2014, the Romanian has never left the Top 4 slot – the highest streak among active players. The only thing between her and a complete player is a mastery at serve.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Romania’s Simona Halep in action during her third-round match against Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

“I’m not the kind of player that shoots a 200kmph serve. No way. It’s frustrating out on the court when you get hit with three aces in a row,” Simona said. This niggle in Halep’s play gives immense pleasure to the opponent to win a game in four straight shots.

The subject reminded Halep of her longtime rival and 16 WTA titles winner Pliskova. They last met in the finals of the Italian Open this year where the injured Czech player walked-over after 6-0, 2-1.

“Pliskova hits you at 190-195kmph”: Halep

Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova in action during her second-round match Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

In making the record for most aces in a season (530 in 2016), Karoline broke her own record of 2015. Even though America’s Serena Williams is considered the greatest server, the Czech is no easy opponent. Halep adds her memories of facing Pliskova in the account.

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“There’s nothing you can do about it, when you’re playing against Pliskova and she hits you at 190-195kmph. You have to move from one side to the other. It is annoying,” added World No. 2.

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Halep made it to the finals of the Australian Open in 2018; she will take it one step forward next year. Meanwhile, the 28 years-old Czech Pliskova joined forces with German Coach Sascha Bajin ahead of the 2021 season. It will be most exciting if the two great competitors meet once again at a major tournament.

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Purav Joshi

1139 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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