OSTRAVA, Czech Republic - Veronika Kudermetova scored a second win over Karolina Pliskova in three months, rallying to defeat the No.2 seed, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open.
Kudermetova came through qualifying, and trailed Pliskova by a set and a break to defeat the former US Open finalist in one hour and 56 minutes on Centre Court.
"This is the second time we've played this year and I beat her twice, so I think it was a good match from me," she said after the match. "I tried to hit every ball, use my serve, and stayed calm after losing the first set."
Pliskova and Kudermetova split their two previous meetings, with the Russian stunning the former World No.1 at the Western & Southern Open en route to the Round of 16 back in August.
"I was more focused. I may have rushed too much in the first set, but after that, I tried to think what I needed to do and what I could expect. I think that was the key to the match."
Partnering countrywoman Anna Blinkova to reach the US Open semifinals in women's doubles, Kudermetova eased through Ostrava qualifying as the top seed, booking her place in the main draw without dropping a set and defeating Donna Vekic, 6-2, 6-4 to face Pliskova.
Pliskova was playing her first match since falling at the French Open to 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko, having finished runner-up at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia to Simona Halep and retiring due to a left thigh injury.
Saving a break point in her second service game, Kudermetova took a medical timeout due to a rib injury, and was soon on the the back foot as Pliskova broke serve on resumption and held on to the end, serving out the first set at love.
"I had a sort of spasm in my diaphragm, I think because I was a little bit nervous before the match. After the medical timeout, I had good treatments and I feel much better right now."
The Russian showed signs of a fight back in the second set, reversing another break deficit to win four of the next five games and find herself serving to force a decider.
Though Pliskova responded by thundering a forehand winner to break back, Kudermetova kept pressing to earn a set point in the following game, leveling the match with a forehand into the open court - her 11th winner of the set.
She began the final set behind two more break points, only to save both and reel off 12 straight points, breaking serve with another forehand winner as she moved ahead 4-1.
"In the final set, I felt much more confident. I was focused on every point because it was important to take those first few games. It helped me play much better."
Pliskova chipped away at that lead, outrallying the Russian to convert her fifth break point chance of the set and bring the match back on serve.
Kudermetova continued to create opportunities on Pliskova's serve, breaking at love for a second time in the set to serve for the upset.
Clinching a tense final game, Kudermetova made it over the finish line and into her second WTA quarterfinal of 2020.
In all, she struck a wildly impressive 41 winners to 31 unforced errors, outacing the three-time WTA Ace Leader (10 to 9), and converted five of seven break point opportunities.
Though Pliskova made one fewer error, she also trailed Kudermetova in winners (41 to 21), and converted just four of 10 break points in the three-set thriller.
Standing between the qualifier and a semifinal berth will be US Open semifinalist Jennifer Brady, who won the final match of the day against Daria Kasatkina, 7-5, 6-2.
Brady trailed Kasatkina 5-3 in the first set and saved two set points, winning 10 of the final 12 games to advance.
"I played Jenny once last year in Madrid," Kudermetova recalled. "I lost against her, 7-6, 7-6, and it was an interesting match, so it won't matter who wins."