German wildcard Laura Siegemund surges into the semifinals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix for a second straight year, outlasting No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova in three sets.
WTA Staff

STUTTGART, Germany - Laura Siegemund was the last wildcard announced at the 2017 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, and last year's runner-up is one win away from repeating the feat after outlasting No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-3.

Siegemund has been all but unstoppable on clay in the last 12 months, winning her maiden title in Bastad a mere months after her 2016 Stuttgart breakthrough, and kicked off the latest clay court season with a run to the semifinals of the Volvo Car Open.

Pliskova, by contrast, has never been a force on the terre battue, but had looked solid in an opening round rin over CoCo Vandeweghe, and was on course for a one-set lead on Friday after reaching 5-2 and holding set points.

The veteran roared back from there, dropping just one more game to take the set in a tiebreak and weathered a stormy second set from the big-serving Czech powerhouse to use all of her guile and cunning in the ensuing decider, striking 49 winners to Pliskova's 43, and 33 unforced errors to her opponent's 34.

“How much did I enjoy the match? Zero!" Pliskova joked in press. "It was our first meeting on clay, which is better for her, and in Stuttgart, which is even better for her. I think I was fighting pretty well. I hadn’t practiced that much on clay, and it was absolutely different story with CoCo than today. It was tough to play two very different opponents in two days. I didn’t play well, but I still had some chances in the first two sets. I didn’t feel that good in the third set, didn’t have much energy anymore. If you don’t have that, she’s just going to make you run even more.”

The win over Pliskova marks her seventh career Top 10 win and third of the season; notably, six of those wins have come on clay, and five of them have been at this very tournament.

Up next for Siegemund is 2015 semifinalist Simona Halep.