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Pliskova beats Lucic-Baroni to reach Miami semis

(Reuters) - Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova avenged her Australian Open quarter-final loss to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni with a 6-3 6-4 win over the 26th-seeded Croatian on Tuesday that put her into the Miami Open semi-finals.

Lucic-Baroni, who came into the match looking to build on her career-reviving run in Australia, did well to neutralise Pliskova's powerful serve early in the match but was not able to back it up in her own service games.

The 35-year-old Croatian, who had rolled back the years with a run to the last four in Australia, hit nine double faults during the opening set -- including on set point -- and was broken four times to fall behind in 28 minutes.

Lucic-Baroni's serve eventually found its range and she built a 4-2 lead in the second set but Pliskova relied heavily on her forehand and court movement to get out of trouble as she won four consecutive games to close out the match.

Pliskova will face the winner of Tuesday's other quarter-final clash between 12th-seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki and unseeded Czech Lucie Safarova.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)

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