Pliskova, Wozniacki book Miami semifinal showdown

Czech second-seed Karolina Pliskova will face Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinal of the Miami Open after the pair triumphed on Tuesday at Key Biscayne.

Caroline Wozniacki made sure there would be no all-Czech semi by dispatching Lucie Safarova 6-4, 6-3.   -  AP

Czech second-seed Karolina Pliskova will face Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinal of the Miami Open after the pair triumphed on Tuesday at Key Biscayne.

A confident Pliskova ended the hopes of Croat veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni with a 6-3, 6-4 win while Wozniacki made sure there would be no all-Czech semi by dispatching Lucie Safarova 6-4. 6-3.

Lucic-Baroni has been enjoying a late career upturn in fortunes at the age of 35 and in January reached the semi-final of the Australian Open — 18 years after her previous appearance in the last four of a Slam, in 1999 at Wimbledon.

In Miami she put out fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the previous round but the confident and in-form Pliskova proved to be a test too far. The win was sweet revenge for Pliskova who had lost to the Croat in the quarterfinal of the Australian Open in January.

“I think I played much better here than in Australia. Also the conditions are different. I think she was also playing better tennis there because it was faster and the conditions a little bit warmer, balls were different,” Pliskova said.

“I think she had some chances in the second set and then the third set you never know what can happen, but I definitely felt more confident with this match today,” she added.

“I had a game plan, little bit different the one that I had in Australia, and it worked. I was just trying to play a little bit more aggressive than I was playing there and going for my shots,” Pliskova said.

The Czech has won twice this season, in Brisbane and Doha, and now has the best win-loss record of the year (23-3).

The 25-year-old’s victory in the Doha final came against Thursday’s opponent Wozniacki.

“She beat last time and she has been playing well and is in good shape but I am looking forward to getting a another try out there and see if I can beat her this time,” Wozniacki said.

The Dane is in upbeat mood and says she has been in a groove since her run to the semi-final at the US Open.

“I am playing well and I think I have been for quite a while, I think the US Open kind of started off this run and I am just going with it,” she said.

“I think the main thing is that I have been healthy for about six months now, I hope I can keep that going,” she said.

Wednesday’s quarter-final see third seed Simona Halep of Romania take on Britain’s Johanna Konta while world number one Angelique Kerber faces local favourite and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams.