By Chris Oddo | Wednesday March 15, 2017
Karolina Pliskova edged Garbine Muguruza for a sixth consecutive time on Wednesday to reach the BNP Paribas Open semifinals, 7-6(2), 7-6(5). It was a back and forth affair that featured 10 breaks of serve in 24 games, but it was always Pliskova winning the biggest of points, as she has made a habit of in the pair’s last six encounters.
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Muguruza rallied from 5-3 down in set one to take a 6-5 lead but failed to serve the first set out before falling in the tiebreaker.
“It was just three points that made the difference,” said Muguruza after the match. “I guess these three points are for the one that has the confidence and I think this year she’s playing great.”
Muguruza also had a 6-5 lead in the second set but Pliskova held to force the tiebreaker and converted a match point when the Spaniard double-faulted on match point.
The victory sets a semifinal with Svetlana Kuznetsova. The Russian took out Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-3, 6-2, earlier on Wednesday.
Kuznetsova came in 0-2 against Pavlyuchenkova this season, but says she knew she could do better. “I knew going into the match -- I knew in, like, Sydney, it was not my best day and Australia I played a little worse,” she said. “I basically didn't play.”
She added: “Not taking away from her, she did very well. But comparing to my normal level. I know this court suits me a little better, and I know I'd be more fresh and it worked, the tactics and everything.”
Kuznetsova and Pliskova have split their two previous meetings, which both came last year and both went three sets.