Garbine Muguruza will face Simona Halep in the women’s final. Spain’s Muguruza eased past top seed Karolina Pliskova with a comprehensive semifinal victory over the World No.1 and defending champion 6-3 6-2, while Halep beat Sloane Stephens 6-2 6-1.
To beat the player that is now No. 1, it's very good match always. I felt pretty good out there and in control. Everything was going my way. Garbine Muguruza
Muguruza scored her fourth win against a World No.1 with the victory, and third in straight sets, having previously defeated Serena Williams at Roland Garros in 2014 and 2016.
It is the Spaniard’s second win over a No.1 player this year, as she beat Angelique Kerber in three sets en route to winning Wimbledon.
The odds were stacked against Muguruza on paper in the match, as Pliskova was looking to become just the second player to defend her title in Cincinnati this week, and the Spaniard had won just one out of the previous seven meetings against the top seed.
“To beat the player that is now No. 1, it’s very good match always,” Muguruza said after the match. “I felt pretty good out there and in control. Everything was going my way.
“Today I think I was very precise with my shots. I also played very well,” Muguruza said. “I wanted just to be more aggressive, trying to take my shots, and not think a lot about her, because I know she played very aggressive, as well. I’m working hard on trying to face these aggressive opponents, so today I felt a little bit better.”
Simona Halep reached the final of the CincinnatiOpen for the second time in her career on Saturday, cruising past American wild card Sloane Stephens, 6-2, 6-1.
Romanian Halep will become world number one if she wins the tournament.
With her semifinal win, Halep sits just 5 points behind World No.1 Karolina Pliskova, who lost to Muguruza in the earlier semifinal.
With this week’s Cincinnati results, Pliskova sits with 6,390 points. Heading into Sunday’s final, Halep holds 6,385 points. The title would move her to 6,700 points.
“I think it’s something special to get number one in the world,” said Halep, who would move above Czech Pliskova.
“Everyone can get to number one now. The ranking is close. I really want that.”