2017 Indian Wells Women's Singles QF's - Karolina Pliskova beats Garbine Muguruza and enters the SF's
Third-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova turned back a late charge by French Open champion Garbine Muguruza to reach the Indian Wells WTA semi-finals with a 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/5) victory.
Trailing 5-2 in the second set, Spain's seventh-seeded Muguruza battled back, saving two match points as they went to a second tiebreaker.
It was to no avail, however, as Pliskova notched her sixth win in seven meetings with Muguruza.
"Definitely the best match for me in this tournament," Pliskova said. "It was a good player, so the level ultimately goes a little bit more up.
"Definitely from the baseline I think was fine. But the way I was finishing those sets, I'm not happy with that," added Pliskova, who admitted that failing to convert match points when she had them preyed on her a bit in the second-set tiebreaker.
"I had some good rallies on my hand and on my racquet, but didn't serve well in important moments. So everything was through the rally, which is always tough for me," said Pliskova, who leads the WTA Tour in aces and relies heavily on her big serve. "So I'm happy that I stayed there and closed it in the second tiebreak."
The Czech, who is the highest-ranked player in the draw thanks to the injury withdrawal of Serena Williams and the fourth-round exit of Angelique Kerber, is in the semi-finals for the second straight year after falling last season to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka.
She's aiming to add a third title of 2017 to those she has already won in Brisbane and Doha.
In the semis she'll face eighth-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 6-4