Karolina Pliskova downs French hope Caroline Garcia to reach semi-finals
Karolina Pliskova v Caroline Garcia 7-6(3) 6-4

Karolina Pliskova downs French hope Caroline Garcia to reach semi-finals

Karolina Pliskova moved into the French Open semi-finals with a 7-6(3) 6-4 win over Caroline Garcia.

The second seed will seize the world number one ranking from Angelique Kerber – a shock first round casualty at Roland Garros – with victory over Simona Halep in the last four.

Garcia was France’s last hope in the men’s and women’s singles draw, but was second best in the big moments against her Czech rival.

The 23-year-old’s serve deserted her in the first set tie-break, winning just one point of five, and again in the 10th game of the second set as she was broken to concede the match.

"So far still before this tournament I was struggling on clay with almost everything. Didn't have my weapons on my side and the movement was terrible," Pliskova told a news conference.

"I don't think it's better, but somehow I'm just winning."

Her improvement in the clay-court major bears similarities with the career of Russia's Maria Sharapova, a self-described 'cow on ice' on the red dirt who still managed to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup twice.

Pliskova is taking baby steps.

"Today I can finally say I felt a little bit better on the court compared to the last matches," she said. "Yeah, the serve was good, which is also important."

Now the 25-year-old is one win away from becoming world number one next week.

"Coming into this tournament, there were a few people who told me, You have to be in the final to be No. 1. I was like, there is no chance I make the final here," she said with a smile.

But Pliskova is almost there.

She had never made it past the second round here and, after sometimes struggling in previous rounds, she perfectly handled Garcia, who was looking to become the first Frenchwoman in the last four since Marion Bartoli in 2011.

Despite the swirling winds sweeping the court, Pliskova made only 13 unforced errors – one every two games – while Garcia hit 31.

Betting on Tennis? Bet365 are offering a 100% deposit bonus, up to £200 - find out more

Related news

David Ferrer triumphs for third time in Bastad

David Ferrer triumphs for third time in Bastad

David Ferrer beat Alexandr Dolgopolov in straight sets to become the Swedish Open champion in Bastad.

Isner achieves rarity by winning event without facing break point

Isner achieves rarity by winning event without facing break point

Big-serving John Isner became the first man in a decade to go through an entire ATP tournament without facing a break point as he used his dominant serve to win the Hall of Fame Open in Rhode Island on Sunday.

Local favourite Irina-Camelia Begu wins Bucharest Open

Local favourite Irina-Camelia Begu wins Bucharest Open

Home favourite Irina-Camelia Begu was a popular winner of the BRD Bucharest Open title as she defeated Julia Goerges in straight sets.

Ferrer faces Dolgopolov in Swedish Open final

Ferrer faces Dolgopolov in Swedish Open final

David Ferrer beat Fernando Verdasco and Dolgopolov defeated Andrey Kuznetsov to set up a final in the Swedish Open on Sunday.

Record-breaking Roger Federer claims eighth Wimbledon title with crushing win over Marin Cilic

Record-breaking Roger Federer claims eighth Wimbledon title with crushing win over Marin Cilic

Roger Federer won a record eighth Wimbledon title with a 6-3 6-1 6-4 win over a tearful Marin Cilic.

Garbine Muguruza wins Wimbledon title after overpowering weary Venus Williams

Garbine Muguruza wins Wimbledon title after overpowering weary Venus Williams

Garbine Muguruza has ended Venus Williams' bid to win a sixth Wimbledon title at the age of 37 with a ruthless 7-5 6-0 victory against the American icon in the final.

Faultless Roger Federer reaches 11th final after sinking Tomas Berdych

Faultless Roger Federer reaches 11th final after sinking Tomas Berdych

Roger Federer reached his 11th Wimbledon final after edging to victory over Tomas Berdych 7-6 7-6 6-4.

Venus Williams to face Garbine Muguruza in Wimbledon final

Venus Williams to face Garbine Muguruza in Wimbledon final

The 37-year-old American ended the hopes of Britain's Johanna Konta in the women's semifinals with a 6-4, 6-2 win on Centre Court on Thursday.

Centurion Federer dismantles Raonic to reach last four

Centurion Federer dismantles Raonic to reach last four

Roger Federer swept into his 12th semi-final at Wimbledon with a straight-sets victory over Milos Raonic.

RELATED NEWS

David Ferrer triumphs for third time in Bastad
David Ferrer v Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4 6-4

David Ferrer triumphs for third time in Bastad

David Ferrer beat Alexandr Dolgopolov in straight sets to become the Swedish Open champion in Bastad.

Isner achieves rarity by winning event without facing break point
John Isner v Matthew Ebden 6-3 7-6(4)

Isner achieves rarity by winning event without facing break point

Big-serving John Isner became the first man in a decade to go through an entire ATP tournament without facing a break point as he used his dominant serve to win the Hall of Fame Open in Rhode Island on Sunday.

Local favourite Irina-Camelia Begu wins Bucharest Open
Irina-Camelia Begu v Julia Goerges 6-3 7-5

Local favourite Irina-Camelia Begu wins Bucharest Open

Home favourite Irina-Camelia Begu was a popular winner of the BRD Bucharest Open title as she defeated Julia Goerges in straight sets.

Ferrer faces Dolgopolov in Swedish Open final
David Ferrer v Fernando Verdasco 6-1 6-7 (3/7) 6-4

Ferrer faces Dolgopolov in Swedish Open final

David Ferrer beat Fernando Verdasco and Dolgopolov defeated Andrey Kuznetsov to set up a final in the Swedish Open on Sunday.

Record-breaking Roger Federer claims eighth Wimbledon title with crushing win over Marin Cilic
Roger Federer v Marin Cilic 6-3 6-1 6-4

Record-breaking Roger Federer claims eighth Wimbledon title with crushing win over Marin Cilic

Roger Federer won a record eighth Wimbledon title with a 6-3 6-1 6-4 win over a tearful Marin Cilic.

Garbine Muguruza wins Wimbledon title after overpowering weary Venus Williams
Garbine Muguruza v Venus Williams 7-5 6-0

Garbine Muguruza wins Wimbledon title after overpowering weary Venus Williams

Garbine Muguruza has ended Venus Williams' bid to win a sixth Wimbledon title at the age of 37 with a ruthless 7-5 6-0 victory against the American icon in the final.

Faultless Roger Federer reaches 11th final after sinking Tomas Berdych
Roger Federer v Tomas Berdych

Faultless Roger Federer reaches 11th final after sinking Tomas Berdych

Roger Federer reached his 11th Wimbledon final after edging to victory over Tomas Berdych 7-6 7-6 6-4.

Venus Williams to face Garbine Muguruza in Wimbledon final
Venus Williams v Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2

Venus Williams to face Garbine Muguruza in Wimbledon final

The 37-year-old American ended the hopes of Britain's Johanna Konta in the women's semifinals with a 6-4, 6-2 win on Centre Court on Thursday.

Centurion Federer dismantles Raonic to reach last four
Roger Federer v Milos Raonic 6-4 6-2 7-6(4)

Centurion Federer dismantles Raonic to reach last four

Roger Federer swept into his 12th semi-final at Wimbledon with a straight-sets victory over Milos Raonic.