WTA Zhengzhou: Karolina Pliskova and Petra Martic set title clash


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WTA Zhengzhou: Karolina Pliskova and Petra Martic set title clash

World no. 2 Karolina Pliskova is through to the fifth WTA final of the season, ousting Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 6-2 in 68 minutes for the 27th WTA title match in a career. Facing each other for the fifth time, the Czech defeated the Aussie for the fourth straight time, dropping only nine points in her games and fending off the only break point she faced to mount the pressure on the other side of the net.

Ajla served at 70% although that gave her nothing, playing against nine break chances and suffering four breaks to propel Karolina into the final. Settling into a perfect rhythm right from the start, Pliskova barely lost a point behind the initial shot in the opening set and scored breaks in games one and nine for a 6-3, hoping for more of the same in set number two.

There, she raced into a 4-1 advantage, fended off a break chance in game six and sealed the deal with a break at love in game eight that pushed her into the final. World no. 23 Petra Martic will compete in the fourth WTA final, toppling Kristina Mladenovic 6-0, 6-3 in 67 minutes.

It was the fourth straight victory for the Croat over the French player, losing only three games against Kristina at Roland Garros and delivering similar performance to move one step away from the second title of the season.

Dropping 15 points in eight service games, Petra repelled the only break chance she faced and Mladenovic was miles from those numbers, giving away half of the return points and suffering four breaks from five opportunities offered to Petra to end her run in the semi-final.

The Croat needed just over 20 minutes to grab the opener with a bagel, taking the last three games of set number two to secure the place in the final against the rival whom she defeated four times in the previous five matches.