Fourth seed Garbine Muguruza and second seed Simona Halep are through to the 2017 Western & Southern Open finals, with the Romanian having a chance to overtake Karolina Pliskova at the top of the WTA rankings if she wins the title match on Sunday.
In the semifinals, Halep raced past wildcard Sloane Stephens, who had been forced to play twice the day before, visibly lacking energy for a proper fight with the world No.2 less than 24 hours later.
The other semifinal had a similar scenario, as reigning world No.1 Karolina Pliskova, after playing two matches on Friday, had to face a well-rested Garbine Muguruza. The Spanish two-time Grand Slam champion took full advantage of the situation, beating Pliskova in straight sets.
Pliskova’s loss means the No.1 ranking will be on the line on Sunday, with Simona Halep trailing the top spot by only five points. If Halep manages to win the final, she’ll be come the 24th player to grace the top of the WTA rankings, while if Muguruza wins, Pliskova will hang on to it for another week at least.
MORE PHOTOS FROM THE 2017 WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN:
- Friday: Pliskova, Muguruza, Stephens, Halep make the semifinals
- Thursday: Wozniacki, Muguruza, Halep advance to the quarterfinals before showers flood the courts
- Wednesday: Kerber loses to Makarova in second-round epic
- Tuesday: Muguruza and Halep move on, Radwanska and Ostapenko make early exit
- Monday: Pliskova, Svitolina, Halep and Kerber to the the media about their No.1 ranking battle
- Sunday: Qualifying action + practice sessions of Pliskova, Kerber, Kvitova, Radwanska