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Pliskova blitzes way into Singapore SF, tops White Group

Karolina Pliskova posted an emphatic win over Garbiñe Muguruza to win the White Group and qualify for the semifinals at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.


SINGAPORE - Karolina Pliskova reached uncharted territory at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global on Tuesday, thanks to a 6-2, 6-2 White Group win over Garbiñe Muguruza.

Pliskova's seventh victory in nine matches against the Spaniard gives her a 2-0 record in round robin play, and coupled with Venus Williams' three hour, 13-minute win over Jelena Ostapenko earlier in the day, assures the Czech the top spot in the group, and a place in the semifinals of the year-end event for the first time.

Conversely, Wimbledon champion Muguruza still has a chance to qualify for the semifinals, with everything on the line for both her and Williams as the two face off on Thursday. At 0-2, Ostapenko is eliminated.

Pliskova qualified for the WTA Finals for the first time last season, where she was eliminated in the group stage behind a 1-2 record and a third-place finish.

Her lone win a year ago in the group stage came in epic fashion against Muguruza - a 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-5 to open the week - but there were little struggles for the No.3 seed in Tuesday's affair.

Five breaks of serve secured Pliskova a second 6-2, 6-2 for the week, as she defeated Venus Williams by the same score to open round-robin play on Monday.

Despite never trailing in the match, Pliskova nonetheless held off a late push from the WTA Player of the Year. Muguruza staved off a second-set bagel in heroic fashion, saving four match points on serve before earning her first break of the match, but the Czech had the answer and wrapped up a love break in the final game with a forehand winner down the line.

More to come...

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