Czech second-seed Karolina Pliskova will face Caroline Wozniacki in the semi-finals of the Miami Open after the pair triumphed on Tuesday at Key Biscayne.
A confident Pliskova ended the hopes of Croat veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni with a 6-3, 6-4 win while Wozniacki made sure there would be no all-Czech semi by dispatching Lucie Safarova 6-4. 6-3.
Lucic-Baroni has been enjoying a late career upturn in fortunes at the age of 35 and in January reached the semifinals of the Australian Open – 18 years after her previous appearance in the last four of a Slam, in 1999 at Wimbledon.
In Miami she put out fifth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the previous round but the confident and in-form Pliskova proved to be a test too far.The win was sweet revenge for Pliskova who had lost to the Croat in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January.
“I think I played much better here than in Australia. Also the conditions are different. I think she was also playing better tennis there because it was faster and the conditions a little bit warmer, balls were different,” Pliskova said.
“I think she had some chances in the second set and then the third set you never know what can happen, but I definitely felt more confident with this match today,” she added.
“I had a game plan, little bit different the one that I had in Australia, and it worked. I was just trying to play a little bit more aggressive than I was playing there and going for my shots,” Pliskova said.
The Czech has won twice this season, in Brisbane and Doha, and now has the best win-loss record of the year (23-3).
The 25-year-old’s victory in the Doha final came against Thursday’s opponent Wozniacki.
“She beat last time and she has been playing well and is in good shape but I am looking forward to getting a another try out there and see if I can beat her this time,” Wozniacki said.
The Dane is in upbeat mood and says she has been in a groove since her run to the semi-finals at the US Open.
“I am playing well and I think I have been for quite a while, I think the US Open kind of started off this run and I am just going with it,” she said.
“I think the main thing is that I have been healthy for about six months now, I hope I can keep that going,” she said.
Wednesday’s quarterfinals see third-seed Simona Halep of Romania take on Britain’s Johanna Konta while world No 1 Angelique Kerber faces local favorite and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams.