Cincinnati semifinals set: Kerber vs. Halep, Pliskova vs. Muguruza

The Western & Southern Open quarterfinals finished on Friday and the semifinal pairings are Angelique Kerber vs. Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova vs. Garbine Muguruza.

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Second seed Angelique Kerber battled back to beat ninth seed Carla Suarez Navarro and closed in on the No.1 WTA ranking, now being just two wins away from ending Serena Williams' 183-week reign. After a sloppy one set and a half, Kerber took charge midway through the second set and lost just one game after going 4-2 up. Even in the worst moments, Kerber was confident in her ability to fight back and a 4-6 6-3 6-0 victory brought her into the big semis.

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The German's semifinal opponent will be Simona Halep, who beat fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the last quarterfinal of the day. The third-seeded Halep won five straight games from 0-4 down in the first set, but dropped serve when serving for the set. Radwanska stayed in the set by breaking back right away, but the Romanian finished the job in the twelfth game, 7-5. The opening three games of the second set were breaks and the first player to solidify the lead was Halep, who made concrete out of it, racing to 6-1.

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The first player to make the final four was the 15th-seeded Pliskova, who eliminated seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 4-6 6-2 by virtue of impressive winners taking center stage in the third set. Next up for the Czech is fourth seed Garbine Muguruza, who defeated big-serving qualifier Timea Babos 6-4 6-3.

Stay tuned, our photographer Omar Boraby will soon post his Friday's gallery.

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