Garbine Muguruza edgs past Svetlana Kuznetsova in Cincinnati — WTA review

Rafael Nadal- File

The 25-year-old Romanian will try to become only the 24th different woman atop the rankings by winning Sunday's final against Wimbledon victor Garbine Muguruza, who ousted top-ranked Czech defending champion Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-2 in the other semi-final. After play resumed, Keys got ahead 6-5 and was serving for the match at 40-15 but hit a couple of balls into the net. "Very happy with this win".

Halep has never lifted the title in Cincinnati, her previous best coming in 2015 when she was runner-up to Serena Williams, but if she manages the feat she will become the new world number one.

The final will be the first on American soil for Muguruza, who lost to Pliskova in last year's semi-finals.

"I was very precise with my shots", Muguruza said. "I worked hard on beating these kinds of opponents". If it's going to happen, great, but if not I will have more opportunities. "It was a gorgeous day". At the French Open she was three games from No.1 when she held a set and 3-0 lead over Jelena Ostapenko before falling in three sets; at Wimbledon she was up a set on Johanna Konta with a shot to claim the top spot but fell in three dramatic sets.

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Halep can overtake Pliskova by winning the title in the final tune-up for the US Open. Serena Williams from 2014 and 2015 remains the only back-to-back Cincinnati women's victor.

Halep reeled off the last four games to take the set, helped by Sevastovas unforced errors on crucial points, and won the first three games of the second set on her way to victory.

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza overcame a long rain delay in the third set and fought off three match points before advancing to the quarterfinals. The year's last Grand Slam starts August 28. "This match was really good, I feel that maybe I played my best tennis". It's back, so I'm positive again.

Muguruza will bid for her fifth title on Sunday; Halep her 15th.

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Stephens is playing in only her fourth event since returning from a foot injury that required surgery in January.

Bulgaria's 11th-ranked Grigor Dimitrov dispatched 19th-ranked American John Isner 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (12/10) to reach his first ATP Masters final, taking a dramatic final tie-breaker on his fourth match point.

Ferrer, 35, is the oldest Cincinnati semi-finalist since 1970 champion Ken Rosewall.

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