Muguruza upsets defending champ Pliskova

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza is through to the final of the Western & Southern Open after beating World No 1 Karolina Pliskova in straight sets.

The odds were stacked against the Spaniard, who came into the match having won just one of her last seven encounters with Pliskova, but on this occasion she had the measure of her opponent, winning 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 12 minutes to advance to her first ever final in Cincinnati.

Pliskova was trying to become only the second player to defend her title, but it wasn’t to be.

Muguruza broke serve in the first game of the match and never trailed again. She failed to convert two break points in game seven, but had Pliskova under pressure again a couple of games later, snatching the opportunity to take a one-set lead.

Pliskova was matching the Spaniard in the winner count, but was making far more unforced errors, and she could not find a way back in the second set.

Her best chance arrived in the very first game, when she earned three break points during a lengthy series of exchanges. Unfortunately for her, Muguruza saved them all.

Having weathered the storm, Muguruza broke again in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead.

Serving to stay in the match at 2-5, Pliskova fought bravely, saving four match points amid a concerted onslaught from her opponent, but she eventually cracked under the pressure as Muguruza sealed the big win.

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Awaiting Muguruza in the final is World No 2 Simona Halep, who made light work of Sloane Stephens in her semi, racing to a 6-2, 6-1 victory in just 56 minutes.

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