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Martic sets up final with Pliskova at Zhengzhou Open

Martic sets up final with Pliskova at Zhengzhou Open
FILE PHOTO - Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 8, 2019 Croatia's Petra Martic in action during her fourth round match against Ukraine's Elina Svitolina REUTERS/Hannah McKay -
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HANNAH MCKAY(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Croatia’s Petra Martic and top seed Karolina Pliskova marched into the final of the inaugural Zhengzhou Open with commanding straight sets victories on Saturday.

Seventh seed Martic dispatched Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic 6-0 6-3 in 67 minutes to reach her first Premier showpiece, sealing victory with her third ace of the match.

Mladenovic had a mounting error count and six double faults while Martic, who faced only one break point, broke her unseeded opponent four times, helping her win seven games in a row.

Czech Pliskova dominated her semi-final as she beat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3 6-2 in 68 minutes. It was her third victory of the year over the Australian after wins in Brisbane and Rome.

World number two Pliskova won 93% of her first serve points, and broke four times en route to her fifth final of the season.

Despite three consecutive double faults in the second set, her superior counter-punching was also on display as she hit 28 winners, while Tomljanovic made 13 unforced errors.

Pliskova will seek her first title in China on Sunday after finishing as runner-up in Zhuhai in 2015 and Tianjin last year.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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