World No.1 Muguruza in Tokyo tennis semis

Wimbledon champion and new world No.1 Garbine Muguruza has advanced to the semi-finals of the Pan Pacific Open with a 6-2 6-4 win over Caroline Garcia.

A rare double-fault by the top-seeded Muguruza allowed Garcia to pull even at 3-3 in Friday’s second set, but the Spaniard broke back in the next game.

Playing in her first tournament since earning the top women’s ranking, Muguruza will next face Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki or Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

Earlier, Angelique Kerber upset second seed Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (7-5) 7-5.

The seventh-seeded Kerber took advantage of several unforced errors by the Czech and won with a powerful crosscourt shot on her fifth match point.

“Being back in the semis here in Tokyo is a great feeling,” said Kerber, who last reached the last four of the 2014 event.

“It’s always tough to play against (Pliskova), so I was trying to focus on my game. I think I played a good match today.”

Kerber will meet Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semifinals. The Russian beat Barbora Strycova 5-7 6-3 6-1.

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