17-year-old Czech qualifier Marketa Vondrousova put together a commanding performance to stun Kristyna Pliskova and reach the first WTA semifinals of her career at the Ladies Open Biel Bienne.
WTA Staff

BIEL/BIENNE, Switzerland - 17-year-old Czech qualifier Marketa Vondrousova put together a commanding performance to stun Kristyna Pliskova, 6-2, 7-5 and reach the first WTA semifinals of her career at the Ladies Open Biel Bienne.

Earlier in the week, Vondrousova was named in the Czech Republic's Fed Cup squad and is set to make her debut as the defending champions take on the United States in World Group semifinals. Now Vondrousova's backed up yesterday's upset over Annika Beck with a win over a player ranked 175 spots above her to prove why team captain Petr Pala made the right choice.

"It's so super, because I didn't even know I could play that good!" Vondrousova said after the victory. "I've had a great season so far, and I played qualies here and I'm so glad I made it through and keep playing so good.

"I'm just trying to focus on every match, every point, and just play like I have nothing to lose. I am calm and I feel confident."

Playing in her first WTA quarterfinal, Vondrousova wasn't cowed by the occasion or by the big Pliskova serve. She set the tone early on, breaking in Pliskova's opening service game and keeping her under pressure through the match. She brought up 12 break opportunities across both sets and converted five to put away her countrywoman in an hour and 20 minutes.

She joins Anett Kontaveit and Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the semifinals and awaits the winner between top seed Barbora Strycova and No.7 seed Julia Goerges,

Earlier in the day, Kontaveit survived a complicated three-set battle against the fast-rising Elise Mertens to advance 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-1.

"It was a really close first set with lots of breaks of serve," Kontaveit explained afterwards. "I lost a bit of focus in the second, and she also played really well. I was just trying to keep my head calm and keep my focus, and play every point, just stay aggressive and do my thing."

Anett Kontaveit is first through to @WTABielBienne Semifinals!

Outlasts Mertens 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-1! pic.twitter.com/X4US4Co2kS

Kontaveit was two points away from the match while serving at 5-4 in the second set when Mertens came roaring back to force a tiebreaker and a deciding set. But the Estonian stayed calm to break three times and reel off six games in a row in the final set to shut down the comeback and move into the Biel/Bienne semifinals.

Also through to the semifinals is Belarusian qualifier Sasnovich, who defused the fast-paced Camila Giorgi in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

The Italian led by a break in each set - she was up 3-1 in the first and 4-2 in the second - but couldn't hang on to the lead. Her eight double faults proved costly, coming at crucial times and allowing Sasnovich to break six times during the match.