Pliskova earns breakthrough win to reach US Open semis

Wed Sep 7, 2016 3:21pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Karolina Pliskova, a grand slam underachiever, took a big step toward shedding that unwanted label by sweeping past Croatian teenager Ana Konjuh 6-2 6-2 on Wednesday to roar into the semi-finals of the U.S. Open.

Pliskova arrived at Flushing Meadows as the only player ranked inside the top 20 yet to reach the fourth round at one of tennis's four blue riband events but the 10th-seeded Czech made her trip to the semis look like nothing new as she overwhelmed 18-year-old Konjuh in 57 minutes.

"It's an amazing feeling, I am so excited to be in my first semi-final especially in this tournament I very much love New York and hardcourt season," said Pliskova, who will next face either world number one Serena Williams or Romanian fifth seed Simona Halep.

"I think I played a very good match today.

"I did a quick break in the first game which helped me and I was more calm then and going for my shots."

It was a ruthless and dominating performance from Pliskova, who did not face a break point while surrendering only five points on her serve.

The big-hitting Czech, who has fired more aces this season than any other player, opened the match with a bang, breaking the unsteady teen on her opening two serves en route to a 4-0 lead.

Pliskova lost only one point on serve in the opening set as she swept past the reeling Croatian in 28 minutes.   Continued...

Sep 7, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic celebrates after winning match point against Ana Konjuh of Croatia (not pictured) on day ten of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Pliskova won 6-2, 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports