WTA Finals: Pliskova fights against the tenacious Halep to organize Barty's confrontation
SHENZHEN Karolina Pliskova sharpened a rocker battle with Simona Halep in his last group match in the WTA finals on Friday, defeating the Romanian 6-0, 2-6, 6-4 to organize a semifinal with world number one Ashleigh barty .
Pliskova demolished the Wimbledon Halep champion in a remarkable 20-minute opening set.
But Halep showed his characteristic tenacity in the second set, breaking the Czech in the opening game before leveling the scores, shooting an ace to take the game to a decisive set.
The 28-year-old seemed to be in control of the third set when she took a 2-0 lead, but Pliskova regained five straight games, including two service breaks, to get on the verge of victory.
However, Halep refused to go to bed, maintaining his own service before taking another break in the ninth game only for Pliskova to break again, winning the game through a fortuitous network.
Today was a bit complicated, I went up a set, then I went down a set and a rest and was happy to find the way and never stop fighting and believe, said Pliskova.
I was a bit lucky at the end, but happy about that.
Pliskova's victory means that he faces Australian Barty in a clash between the two best players in the world.
We have played so many good games and she is having a great year, so it will be very hard, Pliskova said.
It will be a great challenge, but I have nothing to lose. She is the first and I am the second, so she has to win, so I will enjoy it.
Formerly defending champion Elina Svitolina confirmed his place in the semifinals, where he will meet Belinda Bencic after a hard fight for 7-5, 7-6 (10) on the substitute Sofia Kenin that took two hours and 10 minutes to complete.
Svitolina had already guaranteed a first place in the purple group, although the young American made the Ukrainian fight for a third consecutive victory in Shenzhen, who was recruited in the tournament after Bianca Andreescu's withdrawal due to injury.
A succession of double fouls undermined Kenin in the first set, but she fought in the second, pushing the 25-year-old to the end and fighting five points before succumbing.
I am very, very happy to have finished the game in two sets and it was a very physical game and I had to stay very hard, said Svitolina, who is still on track to claim a maximum prize of $ 4.75 million.
I was just trying to focus on what I had to do on the court and fight for every point.
Sometimes you don't play your best tennis, so you have to fight during difficult times and difficult games and that's what I was trying to do. I was rewarded a little, but in the end I was playing very solid.