Pliskova ousts Halep to reach Madrid semi-finals

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MADRID, May 10: Defending champion Simona Halep lost her first match at the Madrid Open in three years on Thursday as Karolina Pliskova produced an inspired performance to reach the semi-finals.
Halep had won the title here both in 2016 and 2017 but the world number one struggled to impose her baseline game against the power of Pliskova, who won 6-4, 6-3.
Pliskova will now face either two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova or Russian up-and-comer Daria Kasatkina for a place in Saturday’s final.
Halep will still be among the favouries later this month at the French Open, where she has twice finished runner-up, but 26 unforced errors marked the Romanian’s error-strewn display. (AFP)