Rome: Pliskova overcomes mid-match wobble against Mertens


Defending champion Karolina Pliskova joins Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza and Marketa Vondrousova in the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia with a 6-3 3-6 6-0 victory over Elise Mertens, who has won more matches than any other woman in 2020.

The second-seeded Pliskova confidently took the first set without dropping serve and it looked like the Czech was destined for a comfortable victory as she established a 3-1 lead in the second set. That’s when Mertens’ battling spirit came into full force and the Belgian roared through the next five games to force a decider.

Not allowing herself to be discouraged, Pliskova regrouped and reeled off the next six games to reach her second semifinal of 2020, where she’ll take on a fellow Czech and last year’s Roland Garros finalist, Marketa Vondrousova.

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