Martic sets up final with Pliskova at Zhengzhou Open

Pliskova will vie for the inaugural Zhengzhou Open title. (AFP pic)

BEIJING: 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 No 2 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.