Karolina Pliskova was an oasis of calm on the court Saturday as she clinched her spot in the finals at the National Bank Open in Montreal.
The No. 4 seed from the Czech Republic celebrated her first-set win with a muted fist pump. And when her opponent, the top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, broke her in the second set, Pliskova didn’t show any signs of being flustered.
“I’m quite calm. Of course, I have some nerves and emotions, but I try not to show it that much,” the 29-year-old said after beating Sabalenka 6-3, 6-4.
“There is a lot of things happening on the court, but I think the main thing is just to have a goal and follow that goal.”
Sabalenka struggled with consistency throughout the match, registering five double faults and saving just 4-of-7 break points. She threw her racket to the ground in frustration early in the second set.
Meanwhile, Pliskova remained collected and used her strong serve to keep her out of trouble. In the second set, the world No. 6 saved a breakpoint with an ace, then preserved the hold with two other serves that Sabalenka simply couldn’t control.
“I think I was super solid today,” she said. “Just did everything I was supposed to do to win this match.”
Pliskova took a three-set victory over Donna Vekic of Croatia in the second round, then dispatched American Amanda Anisimova and Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain to clinch her spot in the semis.
Last month, Sabalenka and Pliskova met in the semifinal at Wimbledon, with Pliskova taking a three-set victory. She then lost in the finals to Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.
Pliskova will find out later on Saturday whether she’ll face Italy’s Camilia Giorgi or American Jessica Pegula in Sunday’s final.
The Czech tennis star already has losses to both of the unseeded players, with Giorgi ousting her from the Tokyo Olympics in the round of 16.
“I have nothing to lose,” Pliskova said of the potential finals matchups. “They’ve both beat me. I’m playing quite solid this week here, so I just try to do my best.”
At the men’s tournament in Toronto, No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece took on American Reilly Opelka in the first semifinal on Saturday.
It was a battle of wills, with Tsitsipas eventually taking the first set 7-6(2) in 54 minutes.
The day will close with Russian No. 1 seed Daniil Medvedev battling John Isner of the U.S. in the second semifinal.