Karolina sees off Gar­bine

New Straits Times - - Sport -

IN­DIAN WELLS: Third-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova turned back a late charge by French Open cham­pion Gar­bine Mugu­ruza to reach the In­dian Wells WTA semi-fi­nals with a 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/5) vic­tory.

Trail­ing 5-2 in the sec­ond set, Spain’s sev­enth-seeded Gar­bine bat­tled back, sav­ing two match points as they went to a sec­ond tiebreaker.

It was to no avail, how­ever, as Karolina notched her sixth win in seven meet­ings with Gar­bine.

“Def­i­nitely the best match for me in this tour­na­ment,” Karolina said.

“It was a good player, so the level ul­ti­mately goes a lit­tle bit more up.

The Czech, who is the high­es­tranked player in the draw thanks to the in­jury with­drawal of Ser­ena Wil­liams and the fourthround exit of An­gelique Ker­ber, is in the semi-fi­nals for the sec­ond straight year af­ter fall­ing last sea­son to even­tual cham­pion Vic­to­ria Azarenka.

She’s aim­ing to add a third ti­tle of 2017 to those she has al­ready won in Bris­bane and Doha.

In the semis she’ll face eighth­seeded Rus­sian Svet­lana Kuznetsova, who de­feated com­pa­triot Anas­ta­sia Pav­lyuchenkova 6-1, 6-4.

Svet­lana needed just 63 min­utes to power past her 19th-seeded coun­try­woman, who had come out on top in the pair’s two meet­ings in the past three months.

Svet­lana, 31, is a two-time Grand Slam cham­pion who last year re­turned to the top 10 for the first time since 2010.

She reached back-to-back In­dian Wells fi­nals in 2007 and 2008, but has never lifted the tro­phy. AFP

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