SINGAPORE — Svetlana Kuznetsova closed in on a spot in the semifinals of the WTA Finals on Wednesday, beating Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6).
Both players served for the match in the third set, but Kuznetsova finally finished it off on her fourth match point.
“I felt the support of the crowd and I couldn’t let anyone down,” said Kuznetsova, who fell to the court after improving to 2-0 in the White Group. “So I had to fight.”
Kuznetsova will qualify for the semifinals if Agnieszka Radwanska defeats Garbine Muguruza in the second match. Plishkova is 1-1.
Kuznetsova, who has the most three-set match wins of the year with 22, led 4-1 lead in the final set and served for the match at 5-3. But she never held a match point until the tiebreaker.
Pliskova had an opportunity to serve out the match at 6-5.
Kuznetsova, the last player to qualify for the season-ending tournament, returned to the top 10 this year for the first time since she last played at the WTA Finals in 2009.
“I’ve not been at my best my past years,” Kuznetsova said. “Something changed this year and I’m just enjoying my game.”
On Monday, Kuznetsova won her opening match against Radwanska after cutting her own hair during a changeover because she said it was bothering her while she played.
TOKYO — Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza advanced to the semifinals of the Pan Pacific Open by beating Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-4 Friday.
A rare double-fault by the top-seeded Muguruza allowed Garcia to pull even at 3-3 in the second set, but the Spaniard broke back in the next game.
Playing in her first tournament since earning the No. 1 ranking, Muguruza will next face Caroline Wozniacki. The former top-ranked Dane advanced when Dominika Cibulkova was forced to retire with a right thigh injury while trailing 3-6, 7-6 (5), 3-1.
Also, Angelique Kerber upset second-seeded Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (5), 7-5. The seventh-seeded Kerber took advantage of several unforced errors by the Czech player and won with a powerful cross-court shot on her fifth match point.
Kerber will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semifinals. The Russian beat Barbora Strycova 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.
METZ, France — French player Benoit Paire came out on top of a tight battle with David Goffin to reach the semifinals of the Moselle Open on Friday after saving one match point.
Paire edged the 2014 champion 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-6 (7) after nearly 2 1/2 hours at the indoor tournament.
Goffin led 4-2 in the decider and failed to convert a match point at 6-5 in the tiebreaker.
Paire will next be up against Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.
The other semifinal will pit Mischa Zverev against qualifier Peter Gojowczyk.
The fifth-seeded Zverev defeated lucky loser Kenny de Schepper 7-5, 7-6 (4) while the 95th-ranked Gojowczyk needed less than one hour to beat Marius Copil 6-2, 6-4.