Friday, December 15, 2017
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Garbine Muguruza beats Caroline Garcia in Pan Pacific Open, Karolina Pliskova out


Ten-TSpain's Garbine Muguruza tightened her grip on the world number one ranking with victory over Caroline Garcia in Tokyo, after Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova lost to Angelique Kerber.


Muguruza saw off French ninth seed Garcia 6-2 6-4 to reach the semi-finals, where she will face Danish third seed Caroline Wozniacki.


Meanwhile, Germany's Kerber beat world number four Pliskova 7-6 (7-5) 7-5.


Pliskova could have moved within 100 points of Muguruza this week.


World number two Simona Halep and number three Elina Svitolina are not playing this week, meaning Muguruza now has the chance to strengthen her position at the top of the rankings, which she secured for the first time last week.


"To achieve this dream I've had since I was a child gives me a lot of confidence," said Muguruza.


"It's a boost of motivation to hold this position - because I think it's the best.”


Kerber, who has slipped back to 14th in the world since winning last year's Australian and US Open titles, faces Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the last four.


The Russian beat Czech Barbora Strycova 5-7 6-3 6-1.


"Right now there's no pressure on me at all," said Kerber. "I've had a few ups and downs this year but I know I can still beat the best players in the world. I showed today I can play like I did last year."


Wozniacki went through after Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova was forced to retire with a right thigh injury while trailing 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 3-1.

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