No.5 seed Kristyna Pliskova eased into the semifinals of the Tashkent Open with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No.1 seed Viktoria Kuzmova.
Pliskova was attempting to progress to the final four at a tournament for the first time since Lugano against an opponent she had never met before.
After facing two break points in the opening game of the match, the Pliskova did not face another throughout the match. This was a testimony to her excellent serving, with the WTA World No.80 hitting a high percentage of first serves throughout.
Pliskova said after the match, “I felt great today with my win, as I had lost a few close matches in the last few weeks. I served better and was able to catch Kuzmova on the wrong foot. I played my best match here so far, and the conditions in Tashkent agree with me.”
The World No.56, Kuzmova, was playing her first tournament since reaching the semifinals in the US Open doubles. She temporarily succeeded to get ahead in the second set, holding to love. But once she was broken in the third game, the momentum was firm with her opponent.
Indeed, Pliskova charged to five successive games. Kuzmova even got a break back as she saved two match points. But she had left herself too much to do as Pliskova sealed the victory when she served next.
Pliskova will next face the highest seed remaining, No. 3 seed Alison Van Uytvanck, in the semifinals as she aims to make a third WTA final.
“I have never noticed my opponent at other tournaments but have seen her play for the first time in Tashkent. If she has made it to the semifinals, that suggests she is great shape and form, and I will be looking forward to a tough game tomorrow.”