Pliskova sweeps into Cincinnati semis, Nadal comes up short

Rachel Hardy
August 20, 2017

Sixth-ranked Spaniard Muguruza reached her first United States event final by trouncing Czech top-ranked defending champion Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-2, flipping the script in a rematch of their 2016 Cincinnati semi-final.

The final will be the first on American soil for Muguruza, who lost to Pliskova in last year's Cincinnati semifinals.

Defending champion Karolina Pliskova pulled off a doubleheader sweep Friday at the Western & Southern Open, reaching the semifinals by winning a pair of matches with little rest in-between.

"It was a very long time that I don't play with Halep, but she's playing very good". I don't know. I wanted just to be more aggressive, you know, trying to take my shots, don't think a lot about her, because I know she played very aggressive, as well. "Everything went my way".

Muguruza served well, and put on a powerful display but she backed up with an all-round presence that left Pliskova on the back foot throughout, as she closed out a very comfortable 6-3 6-2 win. Halep is a gritty scrambler who will have to trust in her legs and speed to create the points and force Muguruza into the errors.

Muguruza was coming off playing the tournament's longest match, a 2-hour, 45-minute three-set win over Svetlana Kuznetsova on Friday. I moved very well today. "I did pretty well in the tie-breaker", said Halep, whose 4-2 record against Stephens includes a twin two weeks ago at Washington. Obviously, a tough schedule for me the last two days - three matches in about not even 24 hours.

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"I think I played my best match on hardcourt so far", said Halep, who can become the first Romanian woman to be ranked No. 1.

The Spaniard kept the pressure on Pliskova's serve, securing a key break to lead 4-2 in the second set before closing out victory in one hour and 21 minutes after taking a fifth match-point chance against the top seed.

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Dimitrov, who matched his best Grand Slam showing by reaching this year´s Australian Open semi-finals, seeks his third title of the season and sixth of his career Sunday against the victor of a later semi-final between Australia´s Nick Kyrgios and Spain´s David Ferrer. "I don't have words to say". Austria's eighth-ranked Dominic Thiem was also to meet Spaniard David Ferrer for a semi-final spot against Nadal or Kyrgios. "I think she's just a little bit fresher and just wasn't a great day".

"I lost five times against him". "I really needed that match".

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