Miami - Czech second-seed Karolina Pliskova will face Caroline Wozniacki in the semi-finals of the Miami Open after the pair triumphed on Tuesday at Key Biscayne.
A confident Pliskova ended the hopes of Croat veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni with a 6-3, 6-4 win while Wozniacki made sure there would be no all-Czech semi by dispatching Lucie Safarova 6-4. 6-3.
Lucic-Baroni has been enjoying a late career upturn in fortunes at the age of 35 and in January reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open - 18 years after her previous appearance in the last four of a Slam, in 1999 at Wimbledon.
In Miami she put out fifth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the previous round but the confident and in-form Pliskova proved to be a test too far. The win was sweet revenge for Pliskova who had lost to the Croat in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January.
"I think I played much better here than in Australia. Also the conditions are different. I think she was also playing better tennis there because it was faster and the conditions a little bit warmer, balls were different," Pliskova said.
"I think she had some chances in the second set and then the third set you never know what can happen, but I definitely felt more confident with this match today," she added.
"I had a game plan, little bit different the one that I had in Australia, and it worked. I was just trying to play a little bit more aggressive than I was playing there and going for my shots," Pliskova said.
The Czech has won twice this season, in Brisbane and Doha, and now has the best win-loss record of the year (23-3).
The 25-year-old's victory in the Doha final came against Thursday's opponent Wozniacki.
"She beat last time and she has been playing well and is in good shape but I am looking forward to getting another try out there and see if I can beat her this time," Wozniacki said.
The Dane is in upbeat mood and says she has been in a groove since her run to the semi-finals at the US Open.
"I am playing well and I think I have been for quite a while, I think the US Open kind of started off this run and I am just going with it," she said.
"I think the main thing is that I have been healthy for about six months now, I hope I can keep that going," she said.
Wednesday's quarter-finals see third-seed Simona Halep of Romania take on Britain's Johanna Konta while world number one Angelique Kerber faces local favourite and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams.
Results from ATP/WTA Miami Open on Tuesday:
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x12) bt Lucie Safarova (CZE) 6-4, 6-3
Karolina Pliskova (CZE) bt Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 6-3, 6-4
Alexander Zverev (GER x16) bt Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x1) 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
Nick Kyrgios (AUS x12) bt David Goffin (BEL x8) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Roger Federer (SUI x4) bt Roberto Bautista (ESP x14) 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4)
Tomas Berdych (CZE x10) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-3, 7-5
Rafael Nadal (ESP x5) bt Nicolas Mahut (FRA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)
Jack Sock (USA x13) bt Jared Donaldson (USA) 6-2, 6-1
Fabio Fognini (ITA) bt Donald Young (USA) 6-0, 6-4
Kei Nishikori (JPN x2) bt Federico Del Bonis (ARG) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3