Pliskova lands in Antwerp semis

Antwerp, Belgium ( – Rising Czech Karolina Pliskova was
a straight-set quarterfinal victor Friday at the Diamond Games tennis event.

This week’s eighth seed upended fourth-seeded fellow Czech Lucie Safarova
7-6 (7-5), 6-3 on the indoor hardcourts at Sportpaleis Merksem. Both
women struck eight aces, but Pliskova saved four break points and broke
Safarova’s serve on her first opportunity in the second set.

The world No. 22 Pliskova’s semifinal opponent on Saturday will be fifth-
seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, who handled 34-year-old Italian
qualifier and former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-3, 6-2.

Meanwhile, another Czech winner came in the form of Barbora Zahlavova
Strycova, who drubbed German Mona Barthel 6-2, 6-2 to reach the final four.

The 2015 Antwerp champion will pocket $113,000.