World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova and wild card Sloane Stephens won two matches on Friday at the rain-hit Western & Southern Open to advance into the semifinals at Cincinnati.
Pliskova defeated qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-3, 4-6, 6-0, then came back later in the day to beat No. 6 Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-4 to gain the semifinals.
In the semis she will meet No. 4 Garbine Muguruza who outlasted No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 5-7, 7-5.
“I think it was probably one of the best matches of the year,” Muguruza said. “Because I felt like we both played very well. Especially in that third set, we were winning points and our serve was there.”
Stephens beat Russian Ekaterina Makarova 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, then later in the day in the quarterfinals topped Julia Goerges 6-1, 7-6(3). Goerges earlier in the day had upset No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina 7-5, 6-4.
Stephens in the semis will face No. 2 Simona Halep, who turned back No. 7 Johanna Konta 6-4, 7-6(1).
“Today I played the best match so far this tournament. I could hit the ball. I could move well,” Halep said. “I feel the rhythm. It’s back, so I’m positive again. I’m on it again. I feel good, and I feel thankful with the way I played tonight. It was really good.”
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