Sports

Pliskova through to Miami Open final

Miami, Mar 29 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 3/29/2019 12:13:18 PM IST

Simona Halep missed the chance to return to world No 1 as a devastating display from Karolina Pliskova sealed the Czech’s passage into the Miami Open WTA final 7-5, 6-1.

Romania’s Halep would have reclaimed the top spot in women’s tennis if she had reached Saturday’s showpiece following current No 1 Naomi Osaka’s early exit and Petra Kvitova falling to Ashleigh Barty in the last eight.
But Pliskova, the world number seven, had other ideas, rattling off an incredible nine games in a row to blitz Halep and set up an intriguing battle with Australian Barty - a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Estonian Anett Kontaveit.
“It wasn’t easy waiting for so long but I managed to stay aggressive,” said Pliskova, who hit 29 winners to Halep’s 18 in the match that finished after 1 am thanks to a series of rain delays. “Ashleigh is a good player, but I am excited for the final.
The South Florida weather played havoc with Thursday’s schedule at Hard Rock Stadium, no more so than when the rains returned with Pliskova on the brink of a brilliant win.
Play was initially halted at 3-3 in the in the first.
When they resumed, Halep edged ahead 5-3 before Pliskova roared back, taking the first set and a 5-0 lead in the second before rain forced them from the court again.
Halep, who recovered from 1-5 down in the second set in her quarter-final match against Wang Qiang, held serve upon the restart.
But in the very next game, Pliskova served out to ruin Halep’s hope of reclaiming the number one ranking she lost when Japan’s Osaka won the Australian Open earlier this year.
Federer through 
to semi-finals
Roger Federer will face Denis Shapovalov in the Miami Open semi-finals after both players came through Thursday’s quarter-finals.
Federer thrashed Kevin Anderson 6-0 6-4 and Shapovalov beat Frances Tiafoe 6-7 6-4 6-2.
In teenage Shapovalov, Federer finds an opponent 18 years his junior. He said, “It doesn’t feel that different to when I played Rafa Nadal when he was super young, or anybody.”
“Any teenager you play, once I think you’re 23, feels different to playing anybody else, because they come out there, and they might not know all the plays down to the T yet, but they don’t have to, because they just free-swing sometimes, and that makes it particularly dangerous.”
“I have always enjoyed playing against teenagers. I think it’s very exciting because of that. It’s an exciting draw, for John Isner and for myself here, playing these young guys. They are not just young, but they are very good, as well. They are nice guys. It should be hopefully good semi-finals.”
Isner plays 18-year-old qualifier Felix Auger-Aliassime in the other semi-final.
Federer has won 27 Masters 1000 titles - only Novak Djokovic (32) and Nadal (33) have more.
 

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