September 14, 2019 / 11:04 AM / a month ago

Martic sets up final with Pliskova at Zhengzhou Open

Sep 1, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Petra Martic of Croatia hits a forehand against Serena Williams of the United States (not pictured) in the fourth round on day seven of the 2019 US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Croatia’s Petra Martic and top seed Karolina Pliskova marched into the final of the inaugural Zhengzhou Open with commanding straight sets victories on Saturday.

Seventh seed Martic dispatched Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic 6-0 6-3 in 67 minutes to reach her first Premier showpiece, sealing victory with her third ace of the match.

Mladenovic had a mounting error count and six double faults while Martic, who faced only one break point, broke her unseeded opponent four times, helping her win seven games in a row.

Czech Pliskova dominated her semi-final as she beat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3 6-2 in 68 minutes. It was her third victory of the year over the Australian after wins in Brisbane and Rome.

World number two Pliskova won 93% of her first serve points, and broke four times en route to her fifth final of the season.

Despite three consecutive double faults in the second set, her superior counter-punching was also on display as she hit 28 winners, while Tomljanovic made 13 unforced errors.

Pliskova will seek her first title in China on Sunday after finishing as runner-up in Zhuhai in 2015 and Tianjin last year.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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