Karolina Pliskova tops Elina Svitolina, advances to Brisbane final

By The Sports Xchange  |  Jan. 7, 2017 at 7:11 AM
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Karolina Pliskova survived a week of upsets and advanced to the finals of the Brisbane International on Friday with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Elina Svitolina at Brisbane, Australia.

Pliskova, the world No. 6 from the Czech Republic, will face surprise finalist Alize Cornet in Saturday's title match. Cornet reached the final when fourth-seeded Garbine Muguruza retired from their match due to injury.

Svitolina knocked off top-ranked Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals but she was no match for Pliskova, who rode a dominant serving game in her victory. Pliskova won 96 percent of her first-serve points to reach her 17th WTA Tour final.

"She can play a lot of shots from the baseline and she can run there half day, and that's what I don't want to do," said Pliskova, who led the tour in aces last year. "So my plan was just to play aggressive, and when I had the first chance, just to move close to the net and maybe close it on the net or with volleys or something."

Cornet, who shocked No. 2 seed Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets in her quarterfinal match, led 4-1 when Muguruza had to retire because of a right thigh injury.

"Of course, it's not the way I wanted to get to the final but it's part of the game," said the Frenchwoman, who was guaranteed a seed in the upcoming Australian Open courtesy of her win. "But well, it's good for me because I will have a little bit of rest before the big final tomorrow."

-- Katerina Siniakova continued her stunning run at the Shenzhen Open in China with a three-set victory over No. 3 seed Johanna Konta.

The unseeded Siniakova was overpowering in the first set before rallying for a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 win to advance to the third final of her career.

Up next for the 20-year-old from the Czech Republic is eighth-seeded American Alison Riske, who breezed to a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Italy's Camila Giorgi.

Siniakova, who knocked off second-seeded Simona Halep earlier in the week, fell behind 4-2 in the third set before rattling off the final four games to secure the victory.

"She was going for every single shot and played quite freely, so it was a difficult match for me to do what I would have liked. But that's a credit to her," Konta said of Siniakova.

Riske also posted a huge upset on her way to the final, dispatching top-seeded and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska in a three-set semifinal match.

-- Unseeded American Lauren Davis advanced to the finals of the ASB Tennis Classic when her opponent retired in the third set at Auckland, New Zealand.

Davis led 4-6, 6-4, 4-1 when seventh-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia was forced to retire with a viral illness.

Ana Konjuh completed her difficult road to the title match by overcoming Julia Goerges of Germany in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Davis, who upset fourth-seeded Barbora Strycova in the quarterfinals, will be seeking her first WTA singles title. Konjuh advanced to her second final, winning at Nottingham in 2015.

It will be the second career meeting between the two, who squared off in this event in 2014. Davis prevailed 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in what was Konjuh's first match as a professional.

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