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Pliskova, Friedsam join Giorgi, Knapp in Linz semifinals

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Camila Giorgi will face Italian Fed Cup teammate Karin Knapp for the first time in the Linz semifinals. (AP Photo)

LINZ, Austria (AP)—Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic reached her sixth semifinal of the season by defeating Madison Brengle of the United States 6-4, 6-4 at the Generali Ladies on Friday.

The seventh-seeded Pliskova, who is ranked 30th, will next play Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany, while Camila Giorgi takes on Karin Knapp in an all-Italian semifinal.

Pliskova played four finals this year and won one of them — in Seoul last month. It was the first quarterfinal for the 96th-ranked Brengle, who had a bye in the second round after Ana Ivanovic pulled out injured.

Pliskova converted her only break point at 5-4 to take the opening set and came back from a break down twice to win the second.

Earlier, Friedsam rallied to defeat Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to advance to her first career semifinal.

The 94th-ranked Friedsam, who won three qualifying matches and beat the third-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in the first round, came back from a break down in the third set and served two aces in the final game.

Giorgi defeated Marina Erakovic of New Zealand 6-3, 7-5. The 42nd-ranked Italian dominated the opening set and recovered from losing three straight games early in the second to reach her third semifinal of the season.

The 59th-ranked Knapp defeated Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to reach her first semifinal since winning her maiden title in Tashkent last month.

Knapp overcame eight double-faults against the 44th-ranked Pironkova, who had beaten the Italian in straight sets at the U.S. Open.

Knapp failed to serve out the match at 5-3 and missed five match points in the next game before closing out the win.
 

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