Karolina sees off Garbine
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