Kiki Bertens ousts Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova beats world No 1 Simona Halep
Kiki Bertens v Maria Sharapova 4-6 6-2 6-3

Kiki Bertens ousts Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova beats world No 1 Simona Halep

Kiki Bertens fought from a set down against Maria Sharapova to reach the Madrid Open semi-finals on Thursday.

The Dutchwoman’s reward for a hard-fought 4-6 6-2 6-3 victory after more than two hours on court is a last-four encounter against seventh seed Caroline Garcia, who breezed past Carla Suarez-Navarro 6-2 6-3.

Sharapova had overcome Kristina Mladenovic to reach the quarters, and carried that form with her into the opening set, taking it 6-4 with a crucial break in the 10th game.

However, the Russian’s serve capitulated in the second set as Bertens, who beat Caroline Wozniacki in the last 16, broke three times to level the match.

Service problems continued for world No 52 Sharapova in the decider as she fell 5-1 behind.

Bertens could not serve out for the match at 5-2 as Sharapova got one break back, but the world No 20 broke her opponent once more to take the final set 6-3.

Elsewhere, Karolina Pliskova proved too strong for world No 1 and two-time defending champion Simona Halep, prevaling 6-4 6-3 after 70 minutes on court.

Pliskova broke the Halep serve four times en route to victory, and she will now play either Daria Kasatkina or Petra Kvitova for a place in the final.

Halep, who has won the tournament for the last two years, had looked imperious on her way to the last eight, dropping only nine games in three matches including Wednesday's win against Pliskova's twin sister Kristyna.

But her winning streak in the Spanish capital ended at 15 matches as her 26-year-old opponent continued her impressive form on the red clay having won the Stuttgart title last month.

It was sixth seed Pliskova's first claycourt victory over Halep and it was the kind of authoritative performance that will turn a few heads as the French Open looms later this month.

Pliskova broke for a 4-3 lead in the opening set and although Halep saved two set points serving at 3-5 Pliskova closed out the opener with a love hold.

Romanian Halep's error-count was surprisingly high and she found herself under pressure early in the second set as Pliskova pounced to break in the third game.

Halep could make little impression on Pliskova's powerful serving and she buckled at 3-5, dropping serve again to bow out.

Related news

Monfils overcomes Wawrinka to lift Rotterdam title

Monfils overcomes Wawrinka to lift Rotterdam title

France's Gael Monfils overcame a determined Stan Wawrinka to win the Rotterdam Open 6-3 1-6 6-2 on Saturday, lifting his first title since January 2018.

Wawrinka outlasts Nishikori in Rotterdam, faces Monfils in final

Wawrinka outlasts Nishikori in Rotterdam, faces Monfils in final

Three-times Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka battled past Kei Nishikori 6-2 4-6 6-4 at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam on Saturday to set up a final against Frenchman Gael Monfils.

Maria Sharapova pulls out of Indian Wells with shoulder injury

Maria Sharapova pulls out of Indian Wells with shoulder injury

Former world number one Maria Sharapova will miss next month's BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells due to a right shoulder injury, organisers said on Wednesday.

Stan Wawrinka beats Milos Raonic in Rotterdam, Stefanos Tsitsipas crashes out

Stan Wawrinka beats Milos Raonic in Rotterdam, Stefanos Tsitsipas crashes out

Stan Wawrinka knocked out fourth seed Milos Raonic and Damir Dzumhur ousted third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on a day of surprises at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Kei Nishikori returns from injury with win over Herbert

Kei Nishikori returns from injury with win over Herbert

Kei Nishikori overcame Pierre-Hugues Herbert 3-6 6-1 6-4 at the Rotterdam Open on Tuesday on his return from the knee injury which forced him to retire during his Australian Open quarter-final against Novak Djokovic.

Jelena Ostapenko, Kiki Bertens survive early scares in Doha

Jelena Ostapenko, Kiki Bertens survive early scares in Doha

Former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko overcame strong winds and a determined Mihaela Buzarnescu to advance to the second round of the Qatar Open with a 6-1 4-6 6-2 victory on Tuesday.

Tsonga Returns To Winners' Circle In Montpellier

Tsonga Returns To Winners' Circle In Montpellier

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-2 to win the Open Sud de France in Montpellier and claim his first ATP title since 2017 on Sunday.

Tsonga through to the final four in Montpellier

Tsonga through to the final four in Montpellier

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came from a set down to edge a gruelling quarter-final encounter with fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy at the South of France Open.

Merciless Gael Monfils hands Stefanos Tsitsipas lesson in Sofia

Merciless Gael Monfils hands Stefanos Tsitsipas lesson in Sofia

Gael Monfils doled out another lesson in outstanding tennis, winning 93 percent of points on his first serve, as he reached the semi-finals of the Sofia Open on Friday with a 6-3 7-6(5) win over Greece’s emerging talent Stefanos Tsitsipas.

RELATED NEWS

Monfils overcomes Wawrinka to lift Rotterdam title
Gael Monfils vs Stan Wawrinka 6-3 1-6 6-2

Monfils overcomes Wawrinka to lift Rotterdam title

France's Gael Monfils overcame a determined Stan Wawrinka to win the Rotterdam Open 6-3 1-6 6-2 on Saturday, lifting his first title since January 2018.

Wawrinka outlasts Nishikori in Rotterdam, faces Monfils in final
Stan Wawrinka vs Kei Nishikori 6-2 4-6 6-4

Wawrinka outlasts Nishikori in Rotterdam, faces Monfils in final

Three-times Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka battled past Kei Nishikori 6-2 4-6 6-4 at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam on Saturday to set up a final against Frenchman Gael Monfils.

Maria Sharapova pulls out of Indian Wells with shoulder injury
BNP Paribas Open news

Maria Sharapova pulls out of Indian Wells with shoulder injury

Former world number one Maria Sharapova will miss next month's BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells due to a right shoulder injury, organisers said on Wednesday.

Stan Wawrinka beats Milos Raonic in Rotterdam, Stefanos Tsitsipas crashes out
Stan Wawrinka vs Milos Raonic 6-4 7-6 (4)

Stan Wawrinka beats Milos Raonic in Rotterdam, Stefanos Tsitsipas crashes out

Stan Wawrinka knocked out fourth seed Milos Raonic and Damir Dzumhur ousted third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on a day of surprises at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Kei Nishikori returns from injury with win over Herbert
Kei Nishikori vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert 3-6 6-1 6-4

Kei Nishikori returns from injury with win over Herbert

Kei Nishikori overcame Pierre-Hugues Herbert 3-6 6-1 6-4 at the Rotterdam Open on Tuesday on his return from the knee injury which forced him to retire during his Australian Open quarter-final against Novak Djokovic.

Jelena Ostapenko, Kiki Bertens survive early scares in Doha
Jelena Ostapenko vs Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1 4-6 6-2

Jelena Ostapenko, Kiki Bertens survive early scares in Doha

Former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko overcame strong winds and a determined Mihaela Buzarnescu to advance to the second round of the Qatar Open with a 6-1 4-6 6-2 victory on Tuesday.

Tsonga Returns To Winners' Circle In Montpellier
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-2

Tsonga Returns To Winners' Circle In Montpellier

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-2 to win the Open Sud de France in Montpellier and claim his first ATP title since 2017 on Sunday.

Tsonga through to the final four in Montpellier
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Jeremy Chardy 6-7 (6) 7-6 (4) 6-4

Tsonga through to the final four in Montpellier

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came from a set down to edge a gruelling quarter-final encounter with fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy at the South of France Open.

Merciless Gael Monfils hands Stefanos Tsitsipas lesson in Sofia
Gael Monfils vs Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 7-6(5)

Merciless Gael Monfils hands Stefanos Tsitsipas lesson in Sofia

Gael Monfils doled out another lesson in outstanding tennis, winning 93 percent of points on his first serve, as he reached the semi-finals of the Sofia Open on Friday with a 6-3 7-6(5) win over Greece’s emerging talent Stefanos Tsitsipas.