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Pliskova powers past Sabalenka to reach Montreal final

It was a straight-sets triumph for the Czech, 6-3, 6-4 against Aryna Sabalenka in Canada

Karolina Pliskova at Wimbledon in 2021 Karolina Pliskova at Wimbledon in 2021 © AI / REUTERS / PANORAMIC
  • What happened: Karolina Pliskova has reached the final in Canada for the very first time – having never made it past the quarter-finals before.
  • You will also learn: All four of this year’s semi-finalists have reached this stage in Montreal for the very first time.
  • Why you should read this article: With her win today, Karolina Pliskova will return to the Top 5, moving from No 6 to No 4.

Karolina Pliskova reached her first-ever Omnium Banque National final by beating Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 6-4 in Montreal.

She is also set to rise up the rankings – back into the Top 5 for the first time this year – and now has a chance to win her first title since the start of 2020, when she lifted the trophy in Brisbane.

A straight-sets win seemed an unlikely outcome prior to the match. Each of the pair’s previous meetings had gone to three sets – with Sabalenka winning their only encounter on hard court, in Cincinnati in 2018.

But Pliskova had the most recent victory – in the Wimbledon semi-finals earlier this year, when she came back from a set down to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

Pliskova got the early break as the two battled with a troublesome on-court breeze, and broke again when the Belarusian had to serve to stay in the first set.

And the Czech’s famous serve was relentlessly reliable at the start of the second set, getting her out of difficulties and bamboozling her opponent.

The tenacious Sabalenka used her backhand brilliantly in the rallies during the seventh game, though, to get the break and edge ahead – but Pliskova broke straight back.

She will now play the winner of the other semi-final between Camila Giorgi and Jessica Pegula. The American dominates their head-to-head 3-1 – but three of those matches happened more than eight years ago. In their most recent match, in Washington DC two years ago, Pegula had a straight-sets win, 6-2, 6-2.

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