MONTREAL – Fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic beat top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 6-3, 6-4 to reach the National Bank Open final.
“I think I was super solid today,” Pliskova said. “Just did everything I was supposed to do to win this match.”
Pliskova will face Camilia Giorgi of Italy, a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 winner over U.S. qualifier Jessica Pegula in the night match. In the Tokyo Olympics, Giorgi beat Pliskova in straight sets in the round of 16.
Pliskova broke early in the match, taking a 2-1 lead after Sabalenka sent a ball long following an extended rally.
Sabalenka began to settle in midway through the second set, coming toward the net, then dropping shots behind her opponent. Pliskova used her strong serve to stay ahead, saving a break point with an ace and two other serves Sabalenka couldn’t control.
“I’m quite calm. Of course I have some nerves and emotions but I try not to show it that much,” Pliskova said. “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.”
Pliskova won the last of her 16 WTA Tour titles in 2020 in Brisbane. Last month, she beat Sabalenka in the Wimbledon semifinals, then lost the final to Ash Barty.
Giorgi, 71st in the world, had four aces and saved seven of 10 break points. She has two career victories, the last in 2018 at Linz.
“I’m very happy, because actually today was, I think, a great match, even if the second set maybe I didn’t play my game,” Giorgi said. “I lost a little bit the rhythm. But then I came back and was, I think, a third set, amazing.”
Pegula, the daughter of Buffalo Bills and Sabres owners Kim and Terry Pegula, won her lone WTA Tour title in 2019, beating Giorgi in the Citi Open final in Washington.