Pliskova into semi-finals
Karolina Pliskova is the first player through to the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals in Singapore
The big-hitting Czech enjoyed a commanding 6-2 6-2 success over an out-of-sorts Garbine Muguruza and she is now guaranteed to finish the White Group on top of the pile.
It took the Czech just 62 minutes to secure a seventh win in nine meetings with the Spaniard. Muguruza was barely competitive, however she would likely have offered greater resistance if defeat meant elimination.
“I didn’t play the last few games well, but I’m just happy to be through,” said the world No.3. “It was a very tricky match today and we both didn’t play well. It was tough because we had to wait a while because the match before us took so long.
“She is a great player and champion [Muguruza] and our matches are usually close. I think this is the easiest match that we’ve played, well it felt that way for me, so I was expecting a tough battle.”
Pliskova and Muguruza were made to wait due to the length of the match involving Venus Williams and Jelena Ostapenko. The pair became entangled in a war of attrition that took three hours and 13 minutes to complete.
It was the veteran American who edged a topsy-turvy scrap 7-5 6-7(3) 7-5. Williams still has an opportunity to reach the last four but Ostapenko’s Singapore debut will end on Thursday.
The slow and gritty court did little to assist either player and the match quickly descended into a scrappy affair. There were 23 double-faults and 20 breaks of serve, but it was Williams who held her nerve in the crunch.
“Sometimes you need some luck, although I’m not sure if I had some luck tonight as I had to work for every point,” remarked the 37-year-old after setting up a winner-takes-all showdown with Muguruza.
“Everyone is playing well here and I’m just really lucky to get through tonight. It’s not easy to lose the first match, both of were in the same situation, and you have to fight to try and live another day.”