PRAGUE, Czech Republic - A Czech is guaranteed to feature in the semifinals on home soil at the J&T Banka Prague Open.
No.9 seed Barbora Strycova rounded out the quarterfinalists on Friday evening, as she defeated American Jessica Pegula in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2, to set up a meeting against No.6 seed Katerina Siniakova in the last eight.
Siniakova was an earlier 6-1, 6-3 winner over Jana Cepelova, and the duo will also be joined in the last eight by wildcard Karolina Muchova, who edged Jennifer Brady in a third-set tiebreak, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) as home hopes.
"I didn't know Jessica and I kind of had to find her game," Strycova said.
"I was moving very well and I was serving very good, so that helped me for free points. I was happy that I could finish in two sets, because it was getting dark."
After the pair traded breaks in the first two games of the match, the opening set couldn't have been closer.
Ultimately, though, the World No.39 was not made to rue some missed chances - Pegula saved a break point in each of the sixth and eighth games - as the set wound through to its conclusion.
Strycova saved a pair of break points of her own at 5-5, before winning the American's serve for a second time to seal a one-set edge.
The home favorite rounded into form from there, taking the first three games of the second set, and never looked back - as she was never taken to deuce on serve and wrapped up victory in one hour and 27 minutes.
Two generations of Czech stalwarts in the 33-year-old Strycova and the 22-year-old Siniakova will face off for the fifth time next up, with the elder Czech leading the head-to-head, 3-1.
"She's such a tough opponent and I played her here two years ago in a really long match, and it was a huge battle," Strycova said, referencing their lone three-set meeting from this very event in 2017.
"I am expecting a great match, and I will look forward to that."