In-form Pliskova powers on in Miami
Karolina Pliskova took out Simona Halep in straight sets in a rain-interrupted Miami semi-final to set up a clash with Ashleigh Barty.
Pliskova powered past the former world number one 7-5, 6-1 to advance to the Miami Open final for the first time - where she will meet the number 12 seed, who also had a smooth pasage through to the biggest final of her career.
The Australian overcame Anett Kontaveit in Thursday's earlier last-four clash, having defeated Pliskova's compatriot Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals earlier this week.
The big hitters have split their four prior encounters 2-2, so fifth-seeded Pliskova is under no illusions over the scale of the task that awaits her.
"I think [Barty] has a completely different style than these girls which I played," Pliskova told the WTA website.
"She's also trying to go for some winners. She has a slice backhand, she has a good serve, so she can move pretty well on the court, so she understands the game well, I think.
"So it's going to be not only about me this time, which actually now a lot of matches were about me more. So I need to accept when she's playing well, and I know I can beat her."
Having defied a 2-7 head-to-head record to beat reigning French Open champion Halep after just an hour and 13 minutes of play - with 23 winners and only 16 unforced errors -Pliskova will be full of confidence for the final.
"Of course the confidence, it helps so much," said Pliskova. "You know, when you win couple matches, then you just see the ball, you know, without even practicing or without even thinking about it. So I think it all is because of the matches."
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