WTA Rising Star Karolina Pliskova beat Yanina Wickmayer to not only reach the final of her home event, the J&T Banka Prague Open, but hit a big milestone - what is it?
WTA Staff

PRAGUE, Czech Republic - WTA Rising Star Karolina Pliskova beat Yanina Wickmayer to not only reach the J&T Banka Prague Open final, but to score her WTA-leading 27th match win of the year.

Watch live action from Prague & Marrakech this week on WTA Live powered by TennisTV!

After Pliskova took the first set, 6-4, there was drama in the second set - first Wickmayer jumped ahead 3-1, then Pliskova ran off four games in a row to lead 5-3, then Wickmayer caught back up to 5-all.

But to the delight of her home crowd the No.1-seeded Pliskova finished strong, breaking one last time and then serving up a love game to close it out, 6-4, 7-5. She blasted her 11th ace on match point.

"Finally I won in two sets, but I wouldn't say it was easier - the ends of the sets were exhausting today," said Pliskova, who had gone to three sets in all of her other matches this week. "I'm still not happy with the way I'm playing here, but on the other hand I'm never happy. At least I didn't have a big gap in concentration like in my last matches, and I'm happy that I can save some energy for the final."

It was Pliskova's WTA-leading 27th match win of the year - going into the match she was tied with Simona Halep at 26 match wins. Pliskova will go for her 28th match win of the year in Saturday's final.

"It's great. I had an amazing first three months - I was playing really well," Pliskova said. "The clay season has started prety well, so I'm just happy with the way I'm doing, and I want to keep winning."

Awaiting the Czech in that final will be another Czech, Lucie Hradecka, who battled nearly two hours to get past yet another Czech - Katerina Siniakova - in the second semifinal of the day, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Hradecka originally looked headed for a straight set victory leading 6-2, 4-2, but ended up dropping that second set and having to go to a third set to finally close out her determined countrywoman.

It was the latest chapter in an absolute marathon week for Hradecka, who actually had to go through qualies and has now gone to three sets in three of her four main draw matches, including a miracle 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(11) victory over Tereza Smitkova in the second round, saving four match points there.

Hradecka now has a shot at redemption - she's 0-6 in WTA finals, finishing runner-up at Bad Gastein in 2008, Strasbourg and Istanbul in 2009, Barcelona in 2011, Québec in 2012 and Strasbourg in 2013.

Pliskova, meanwhile, is 3-5 in WTA finals, winning Kuala Lumpur in 2013 and Seoul and Linz in 2014.

Pliskova and Hradecka are tied in their head-to-head series, 1-1.