PRAGUE, Czech Republic - No.7 seed Mihaela Buzarnescu eased into her second WTA semifinal of 2018, defeating Kristyna Pliskova, 6-2, 6-3, at the J&T Banka Prague Open.
"I'm really happy about this result because it's been quite a few tough months," the Romanian said during her on-court interview. "On this level, it's hard, so I haven't been playing too many matches. I'm happy I was able to win three matches in a row."
Buzarnescu was ranked as low as World No.541 at the start of last year before roaring into a Top 100 debut, qualifying for her first-ever Grand Slam main draw at the US Open, and earning a career-high ranking of No.55. Kicking off 2018 with a run to the Hobart International final, the 29-year-old won back-to-back matches just once between then and Prague, where she is yet to drop a set.
"I was really positive and trying to stay calm because she's such a talented player and so powerful. I was trying to keep my serves and break her once, at least."
The No.7 seed broke Pliskova's powerful serve twice in the opening set, while the second set remained on serve until the crucial eighth game, when Buzanrescu was able to break and hold to secure victory after an hour and 22 minutes on court.
She saved all four break points faced throughout the match, and maintained an impressive 71% winning percentage behind her first serve.
"My forehand was good and I was able to get some good angles off the backhand, so I'm really happy."
Standing between Buzarnescu and a second final of the season will be Camila Giorgi; the big-hitting Italian blistered past 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur, 6-2, 6-3.