MIAMI, FL, USA - In a compatriot clash in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open on Wednesday night, it was the elder Czech who saw off the youngster.
No.5 Karolina Pliskova seed downed teenaged compatriot Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets to advance to the semifinals and a meeting with No.2 seed Simona Halep, 6-3, 6-4.
"I think I improved...I was a little bit off for a couple of games, and she also played some good shots and served well. I won a tight first set, and the games were pretty close," Pliskova told wtatennis.com after the match..
"Overall, I think the match was maybe my best here. She's defending so well, so I always had to play the extra shot, but I think it was a good level."
— WTA (@WTA) March 28, 2019
After needing to rally from a set down in each of her third and fourth round matches against Alizé Cornet and Yulia Putintseva, the 27-year-old Czech was in command for much of the 80 minutes against the 19-year-old Vondrousova.
"I think I'm feeling 100 percent now, maybe not physically, because I've had some tough matches," the former World No.1 revealed.
"It's always better when I played a lot of matches, a lot of sets, a lot of practices. I completely got used to the conditions here, especially night ones because I'm always playing late nights. I think it's good.
"I'm playing these opponents who are defending more than some others, so I'm playing a lot of rallies, but I feel good."
Pliskova was off to a quick start in the opener, dropping just five points in the first three games and never trailed, saving both break points she faced in the fifth game before successfully riding her serve to a one-set lead.
The World No.59 flipped the script in the second, however, as she was the one to build an early 3-0 lead, only to see Pliskova string together a run of five straight games to close in on victory.
"I think the first set was very close. I was just holding my serve even though the games were never easy," the Czech said on the court.
"I just tried to play a little more aggressive when I was down 3-0, and I think it worked."
Pliskova denied Vondrousova a last grasp at parity in the final game of the match, sealing a place in her third semifinal of the season after holding from 15-40 down.
Pliskova will face a long-time rival in Halep for a spot in the final, but it'll be the second time they face off at the new Miami venue in its first year: the Czech revealed in her on-court interview that the two former World No.1s practiced together to start the tournament, and 'I got, I think, 6-0 in the practice, so it only can be better.'
"I think she was also playing some tough matches, so I think there's going to be a chance. My level is improving, my game is improving, so I think it's going to be a good match, if nothing more," Pliskova later assessed of Halep.
"I think for sure, there's going to be a chance to win. Every time we play, I feel like there is a chance. Of course, the head-to-head is not perfect for me, but there is always a chance."