WTA Finals: Pliskova sets up Barty semifinal

Published by TenniSmash

Pliskova celebrates after winning against Halep of Romania at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center; Getty Images

Karolina Pliskova will face world No.1 Ash Barty in the semifinals after a dramatic win over Simona Halep at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

The Czech second seed fought back to win 6-0 2-6 6-4 and secure second place in the Purple Group.

Defending champion Elina Svitolina competed an unbeaten run through the group stage with a 7-5 7-6(10) win over alternate Sofia Kenin.

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The Ukrainian next faces No.7 seed Belinda Bencic in Saturday’s semifinals.

“Each time I step on the court I have to win,” said Svitolina.

“My parents raised me this way – that I have to fight for everything, I have to give 100% each time I play. They would be very angry if I would just give this match to her. And my grandmother, as well – she would be very sad.”

Halep looked on course for the semis when she battled back from a set down to lead by a break in the decider, having reeled off six games in a row.

However, even a stern visit from coach Darren Cahill could not help the Romanian maintain that form to the finish line.

Pliskova stretched to a 5-2 lead but failed to serve it out, needing to break the Halep serve once again – thanks to a net cord on match point – to claim her place in the last four.

“I think I did good job overall through whole the match just going for it,” said Pliskova.

“I think this [point] was the reward. The game was almost lost, I was 0-30, I just went for couple shots.

“I think I just got it like a present from somebody. Of course, it was big relief after this point because I felt was going to end up in the net. I was kind of happy, of course. Felt sorry for her because the match was so close.

“This kind of point at the last point is not the best.”


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