Muguruza outlasts Kuznetsova, next faces Pliskova in Cincinnati

Muguruza outlasts Kuznetsova, next faces Pliskova in Cincinnati

Women: Simona Halep bt Anastasija Sevastova 6-4, 6-3; Svetlana Kuznetsova bt Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-4; Caroline Wozniacki bt Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-2; Garbine Muguruza bt Madison Keys 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3); Johanna Konta bt Dominika Cibulkova 6-3, 6-4. The straight-set win was her second in two matches.

Wimbledon champion Muguruza stuck out her tongue in exasperation after finally prevailing in the two hour 45-minute contest between the two grand slam winners.

She can leapfrog Karolina Pliskova as world number one by winning the title claimed past year by the Czech, who was leading against Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi 3-0 when play was suspended owing to rain.

"Barcelona te siento. Barcelona I feel you", Muguruza wrote on Twitter after the match.

"For sure it's a great feeling I'm playing in the final", Halep said.

The third set was tied 2-2 when the first storm moved through the area in the afternoon, causing a almost two-hour delay.

Rafael Nadal and Karolina Pliskova, the No. 1 seeds at the WTA and ATP Cincinnati Masters, never got a chance to break a sweat before play was halted Thursday at the rain-hit tournament.

Sixth-ranked Spaniard Muguruza seeks her fifth career title at the last major US Open tuneup, flipping the script on Pliskova in a rematch of their 2016 semi to reach her first final in any US event.

"Played against great players, I beat them, and it's just something really wonderful and I am very, very exhausted".

Muguruza, her left thigh bandaged, blasted a backhand victor on her fourth break point to take the opening game of the match and broke again on another backhand victor to take the first set after 36 minutes.

"I'm just happy to be in the final", said Muguruza.

Serena Williams had been number one before her pregnancy break earlier this year.

The American continued her strong form following her return at Wimbledon after an 11-month absence with a foot injury by defeating Germany's Julia Goerges 6-1 7-6 (3). It's going to hold me back. He won his lone Masters crown in 2012 at Paris.

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