Defending champion, Agnieszka Radwanska will take on world number one, Angelique Kerber in the last four of the WTA Finals in Singapore after securing a 7-5 6-3 victory over big-serving Czech, Karolina Pliskova to advance from the White Group.
Pliskova had lost her six previous matches against Radwanska, but she made a strong start on Friday, serving brilliantly and covering the net superbly, and the early pressure told on Radwanska as she sent down a double fault to concede the first break of serve in the fifth game of the opening set.
Radwanska though, is used to being under the pump on the tour, and more often than not, she finds solutions against her more powerful opponents.
The crafty Pole got better as Pliskova’s level dropped, and she earned the break back with a clean winner off a backhand return to even things up at 4-4.
Radwanska’s full repertoire was on display. The 27-year-old was not only resolute in defence, she was also willing to take the ball on when the opportunity arose.
She carved out three more break points at 6-5, taking the set with another exquisite return winner- this time off the forehand wing.
Radwanska carried the momentum into the second set, breaking for the 2-0 lead, but Pliskova’s fighting qualities have been some of the highlights of the WTA Finals.
The Czech broke twice in a run of three straight games to lead 3-2, but having worked so hard to put herself in a strong position in the set, she surrendered the advantage with some poor errors.
Two Pliskova double faults helped her opponent back to 3-3, and two routine overhead smashes into the net gifted Radwanska another break for the 5-3 lead.
The Polish player accepted the gifts with glee, and went on to serve out another classic Radwanska victory- full of guile and tenacity in equal measure.
The world number three will take on Kerber on Saturday, while Svetlana Kuznetsova plays Dominika Cibulkova in the other semi-final tie.