Pliskova closing in on Prague glory, Schiavone continues fine form


Krystina Pliskova is one match away from following in her sister Karolina's footsteps and winning the Prague Open.

Pliskova comfortably defeated Jelena Ostapenko 6-4 6-2 to ensure there will be Czech finalist in the competition for the third successive year - Karolina triumphing in 2016 after Lucie Safarova won the inaugural event a year prior.

Her task was made somewhat easier by the fact Ostapenko had to finish her quarter-final against Ana Konjuh earlier in the day, completing a 3-6 6-4 6-3 win after play resumed at 1-1 in the decisive set.

Teenager Ostapenko could not carry that momentum into her match with Pliskova, who will face Mona Barthel in the final. The German fought back from a set down to eliminate the highest remaining seed and another home hope Barbora Strycova 3-6 6-2 6-3.

Elsewhere, Francesca Schiavone reached her second successive WTA final by defeating Varvara Lepchenko 7-5 6-4 in the last four of the Grand Prix De SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem.

It will not be an all-Italian semi-final, though after Sara Errani went down to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets.

The Russian let a 3-0 lead slip in the first as Errani battled back to 4-4, but she won the next eight consecutive games to charge into the final 6-4 6-0.