Second-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic was the first player to advance to the semifinals of the Miami Open as she beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia, 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Pliskova's semifinal opponent will be former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, who posted a 6-4, 6-3 win over former French Open finalist Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic. Wozniacki, however, was no match in her last match against Pliskova, losing in straight sets in the finals of the Qatar Total Open.
Pliskova was able to reverse the outcome of her meeting with Lucic-Baroni at the Australian Open, when Lucic-Baroni recorded a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory in the quarterfinals.
"I think I played much better here than I was playing (in Melbourne)," Pliskova said. "Also, the conditions here are different, and she was playing better tennis there because it was faster. It suited her better in Australia. So definitely I was feeling more confident with this match. I had a different game plan today."
Pliskova took control early in the match. After Lucic-Baroni won the opening game, Pliskova won four straight to grab a 4-1 lead. Lucic-Baroni struggled with her serve, double-faulting nine times in the opening set. The ninth double fault came on set point for Pliskova.
Lucic-Baroni took a 4-2 lead in the second set, but Pliskova then reeled off four straight games to complete the victory.
"The difference was in the first set," Lucic-Baroni told WTA Insider. "I started out great but then I couldn't find my serve. The more I was making mistakes the worse I was getting.
"I was able to calm down and fix it in the second, but then I just had a lot of bad luck after 4-2. But she played great, a pretty flawless match. It was still pretty close, but it just didn't go my way today."
Safarova entered Tuesday's tilt with momentum after upsetting fourth-seeded Slovak Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets, but was unable to upend Wozniacki.
The 30-year-old Safarova benefited from five aces to put Wozniacki on her heels, but the latter overcame a sluggish start and thwarted a double break at the onset of the match.
The sets remained close until the 26-year-old Wozniacki broke her opponent's serve in the first set before serving out the second.
"I am playing well and I think I have been for quite a while. I think the U.S. Open kind of started off this run and I am just going with it," Wozniacki said. "I think the main thing is that I have been healthy for about six months now. I hope I can keep that going."