Marvellous Muguruza ends Pliskova hoodoo to reach Cincinnati final
Garbine Muguruza ended her Karolina Pliskova hoodoo to progress to the Western and Southern Open final courtesy of a classy 6-3 6-2 victory on Saturday.
The Wimbledon champion had lost to the world number one on their previous six encounters, including in the semi-finals in Cincinnati 12 months ago.
However, at the same stage of the competition it was Muguruza celebrating in front of the American spectators this time around with a deserved victory.
Pliskova, the defending champion, was under pressure right from the off and Muguruza converted a fourth break point in the opening game with a thumping double backhand winner.
Two more break-point chances passed the two-time grand slam winner by in game seven, but it proved a short reprieve for Pliskova who was broken again when serving to stay in the set when trailing 5-3.
Muguruza was flawless on serve in the first set, but was under pressure in two lengthy service games at the beginning of the second.
She held firm, though, and made the crucial breakthrough when a fierce backhand opened up a 4-2 lead.
Pliskova saved four match points on her own serve, but the defending champion went long with the fifth as Muguruza progressed to a first final in Cincinnati where Simona Halep or Sloane Stephens await.