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By Adrianna Outlaw | Friday, May 1, 2015

Karolina Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova pounded her 11th ace to seal a 6-4, 7-5 win over Yanina Wickmayer to advance to her hometown final at the Prague Open.

Photo credit: J&T Banka Prague Open

Prague resident Karolina Pliskova reached her hometown tournament final in style.

Pliskova pounded her 11th ace to seal a 6-4, 7-5 win over Yanina Wickmayer and power into her third final of the season at the J&T Banka Prague Open.

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It was Pliskova's 27th WTA-leading 27th victory of the season. She surpassed second-ranked Simona Halep, who edged Pliskova in the Dubai final in February, for the Tour lead in victories.

Trailing 1-3 in the second set, Pliskova reeled off four consecutive games snatching a 5-3 lead. But she could not close as Wickmayer battled back for 5-5.

The top seed broke for the fourth time. Then Pliskova served out the match at love with that emphatic ace coming on match point.

"Finally I won in two sets, but I wouldn't say it was easier — the ends of the sets were exhausting today," Pliskova told WTA Tennis. "I'm still not happy with the way I'm playing here, but on the other hand I'm never happy. At least I didn't have a big gap in concentration like in my last matches, and I'm happy that I can save some energy for the final."

Qualifier Lucie Hradecka will take on Pliskova in an all-Czech final.

Hradecka defeated compatriot Katarina Siniakova, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, in one hour, 51 minutes to advance to the final.

The 74th-ranked Hradecka, who was born in Prague, won three matches in qualifying just to reach the main draw. She has gone the distance in three of her four main-draw victories, including saving four match points in a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (11) second-round victory over Tereza Smitkova.

The 29-year-old Hradecka has split two prior meetings with Pliskova, including a 6-0, 6-2 victory at the 2011 Prague tournament. 

Both women should be highly-motivated in the all-Czech final: Hradecka is 0-6 lifetime in finals; Pliskova is 3-5 in WTA finals.    


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