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

Roger Federer thrashes Alexander Zverev to claim ninth title at Halle in style

Roger Federer thrashes Alexander Zverev to claim ninth title at Halle in style

Roger Federer demonstrated his sensational form ahead of Wimbledon as he breezed past Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-3 to win his ninth title at Halle.

Petra Kvitova wins WTA Birmingham to continue fairytale comeback

Petra Kvitova wins WTA Birmingham to continue fairytale comeback

Petra Kvitova continued her remarkable recovery by taking the WTA Birmingham title, beating Ashleigh Barty 4-6 6-3 6-2 in perfect preparation for Wimbledon.

Feliciano Lopez shocks Marin Cilic to take Queen's title in dramatic finale

Feliciano Lopez shocks Marin Cilic to take Queen's title in dramatic finale

Eighteenth seed Feliciano Lopez upset the odds to defeat fifth seed Marin Cilic in a third-set tie-break and clinch the Aegon Championships at Queen’s.

Feliciano Lopez upsets Grigor Dimitrov to set up Marin Cilic final at Queen's

Feliciano Lopez upsets Grigor Dimitrov to set up Marin Cilic final at Queen's

Feliciano Lopez qualified for the finals at Queen's, defeating Grigor Dimitrov 7-5 3-6 6-2.

Roger Federer moves into 140th career final at Halle

Roger Federer moves into 140th career final at Halle

Roger Federer reached an astonishing 140th career final as he beat Karen Khachanov to progress through to the showpiece match at ATP Halle.

Marin Cilic makes Queen's final with win over Gilles Muller

Marin Cilic makes Queen's final with win over Gilles Muller

Fifth seed Marin Cilic made the final of the Aegon Championships with a three-set victory over Gilles Muller at Queen’s.

Petra Kvitova reaches Birmingham final after Lucie Safarova retires injured

Petra Kvitova reaches Birmingham final after Lucie Safarova retires injured

Petra Kvitova secured her place in the final of WTA Birmingham after Lucie Safarova had to withdraw through injury while trailing in the second set.

Roger Federer eases past Florian Mayer to reach Halle semi-finals

Roger Federer eases past Florian Mayer to reach Halle semi-finals

Roger Federer's Wimbledon hopes looked even stronger on Friday as he eased past defending champion Florian Mayer to reach the semi-finals at the Halle Open.

Garbine Muguruza and Ashleigh Barty progress to semis after opponents retire in Birmingham

Garbine Muguruza and Ashleigh Barty progress to semis after opponents retire in Birmingham

Garbine Muguruza and Ashleigh Barty set up places in the Birmingham classic semi-finals after their opponents were forced to retire due to injury on Friday.

RELATED NEWS

Roger Federer thrashes Alexander Zverev to claim ninth title at Halle in style
Roger Federer v Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-3

Roger Federer thrashes Alexander Zverev to claim ninth title at Halle in style

Roger Federer demonstrated his sensational form ahead of Wimbledon as he breezed past Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-3 to win his ninth title at Halle.

Petra Kvitova wins WTA Birmingham to continue fairytale comeback
Petra Kvitova v Ashleigh Barty 4-6 6-3 6-2

Petra Kvitova wins WTA Birmingham to continue fairytale comeback

Petra Kvitova continued her remarkable recovery by taking the WTA Birmingham title, beating Ashleigh Barty 4-6 6-3 6-2 in perfect preparation for Wimbledon.

Feliciano Lopez shocks Marin Cilic to take Queen's title in dramatic finale
Feliciano Lopez v Marin Cilic 4-6 7-6(2) 7-6(8)

Feliciano Lopez shocks Marin Cilic to take Queen's title in dramatic finale

Eighteenth seed Feliciano Lopez upset the odds to defeat fifth seed Marin Cilic in a third-set tie-break and clinch the Aegon Championships at Queen’s.

Feliciano Lopez upsets Grigor Dimitrov to set up Marin Cilic final at Queen's
Feliciano Lopez v Grigor Dimitrov 7-5 3-6 6-2

Feliciano Lopez upsets Grigor Dimitrov to set up Marin Cilic final at Queen's

Feliciano Lopez qualified for the finals at Queen's, defeating Grigor Dimitrov 7-5 3-6 6-2.

Roger Federer moves into 140th career final at Halle
Roger Federer v Karen Khachanov 6-4 7-6

Roger Federer moves into 140th career final at Halle

Roger Federer reached an astonishing 140th career final as he beat Karen Khachanov to progress through to the showpiece match at ATP Halle.

Marin Cilic makes Queen's final with win over Gilles Muller
Marin Cilic v Gilles Muller 6-3 5-7 6-4

Marin Cilic makes Queen's final with win over Gilles Muller

Fifth seed Marin Cilic made the final of the Aegon Championships with a three-set victory over Gilles Muller at Queen’s.

Petra Kvitova reaches Birmingham final after Lucie Safarova retires injured
Petra Kvitova v Lucie Safarova 6-1 1-0 A

Petra Kvitova reaches Birmingham final after Lucie Safarova retires injured

Petra Kvitova secured her place in the final of WTA Birmingham after Lucie Safarova had to withdraw through injury while trailing in the second set.

Roger Federer eases past Florian Mayer to reach Halle semi-finals
Roger Federer v Florian Mayer 6-3 6-4

Roger Federer eases past Florian Mayer to reach Halle semi-finals

Roger Federer's Wimbledon hopes looked even stronger on Friday as he eased past defending champion Florian Mayer to reach the semi-finals at the Halle Open.

Garbine Muguruza and Ashleigh Barty progress to semis after opponents retire in Birmingham
Garbine Muguruza v Coco Vandeweghe 4-6 6-4 0-0 A

Garbine Muguruza and Ashleigh Barty progress to semis after opponents retire in Birmingham

Garbine Muguruza and Ashleigh Barty set up places in the Birmingham classic semi-finals after their opponents were forced to retire due to injury on Friday.