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CZECH PLISKOVA SINGING IN THE RAIN AS SHE REACHES SEMI-FINALS AT PRUDENTIAL HONG KONG TENNIS OPEN 2014

(Hong Kong, 12 September 2014) – Third seed Karolina Pliskova overcame China’s Zheng Jie as well as numerous interruptions for rain to reach the semi-finals at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open on Friday.

Pliskova defeated Zheng 6-1, 6-3 in a match that lasted one hour and eight minutes on court but was stretched to more than five hours after organisers were forced to re-schedule the quarterfinals at a rain-swept Victoria Park.

“I wasn’t too affected by the delay. Luckily I came out and broke her right away and that set the tone for the match,” said the 22-year-old Pliskova who is now within a whisker of winning only her second WTA title in her career.

“I stand a good chance to be in the final, and maybe winning. But there are still some very good players left and I will have to play well if I’m to win in Hong Kong,” said Pliskova.

Pliskova, who is ranked 36 in the world, will now come up against Belgian giant killer Alison Van Uytvanck, who had beaten second seed Daniela Hantuchova in the second round.

“I beat her (Van Uytvanck) the last time we played and although that does not guarantee me a win this time, my hopes are high and I will go in feeling confident,” said Pliskova whose aggressive approach was too hot to handle for China’s Zheng.

Zheng said: “I arrived in the morning at 11.30am and had to wait almost seven hours to go on court. It isn’t the fault of the organisers for this is tennis and I’m not using the delay as an excuse for my opponent was too strong.”

Van Uytvanck knocked out Australian Jarmila Gajdosova to reach the semi-finals. The Belgian who is ranked 91st in the world needed 71 minutes on court to dispatch Gajdosova who had entered the main draw through the qualifying competition.

The doubles competition was suspended on Friday due to the poor weather and will resume on Saturday.