Karolina Pliskova edged closer to a third consecutive final at the Rome Masters, beating the rain on Friday to reach the semis 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(21) over former Grand Slam champion Jelena Ostapenko.

2017 Roland Garros winner Ostapenko could not hold onto her 4-0 lead in the opening set of a match lasting for nearly two and a half hours.

Pliskova won the 2019 trophy here and finished runner-up to Simona Halep in last September’s COVID-delayed delayed 2020 edition.

The ninth-seeded Czech winner who saved three match points will face off in a Saturday semi against Petra Martic after the Croat defeated Jessica Pegula 7-5, 6-4.

Pliskova struck nine aces and broke her opponent seven times to overcome 13 double-faults.

The 25th-ranked Martic, coached by Italy’s 2010 Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone, came up short on break points, converting only five of 17 against the spoiler who knocked out Naomi Osaka in the second round here.

Martic, who had not been past the second round in four previous appearances, was delighted with her showing and also with the crowd support due to her coach.

“This will be my most successful tournament of all, I just couldn’t perform here, for some reason.

“I’m really happy after not having a good start to the season that Rome is hopefully gonna make a change for me and things are gonna start going upwards.

“It’s great to have a crowd behind – people know that she’s (Schiavone) my coach.

“My game has started really coming together, like pieces are being put into place.

Martic stands 2-2 against Pliskova at the WTA level with their last meeting in China, 2019.

Main photo:- Karolina Pliskova advances to Rome semi-finals by WTATennis.com


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