August 9, 2015 / 1:50 AM / 4 years ago

Pliskova on verge of her first big WTA victory

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic celebrates after beating Garbine Muguruza of Spain in their women's singles tennis semi-final match at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships February 20, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

(Reuters) - Czech Karolina Pliskova stopped upset-maker Varvara Lepchenko in the semi-finals at the Bank of The West Classic in Stanford, California, on Saturday.

Lepchenko had ousted top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark earlier in the week, but Pliskova put an end to the Uzbek’s run with an impressive 6-2 7-5 victory.

Pliskova will meet fifth-seeded German Angelique Kerber in Sunday’s final. Kerber met little resistance in dispatching Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-1.

Fourth seed Pliskova looked to be charging into the final but Lepchenko put up one more gritty stand to test the Czech.

Lepchenko trailed 4-2 in the second set before winning three games in a row to go 5-4 up before Pliskova returned the favor by claiming the next three to close the match out.

Pliskova had already assured herself of cracking the top 10 with her strong season but took pride in Saturday’s victory that gives her another chance at her maiden premier-level win.

“I already knew I’d be in the top-10, so I’m even more happy I’m playing the finals,” Pliskova added. “Now I know I belong in the top-10.”

This is Pliskova’s fourth trip to a final this year after losses in Sydney, Dubai and Birmingham, where she succumbed to Kerber.

Reporting by Tim Wharnsby in Toronto; Editing by Larry Fine

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