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Simona Halep ruined her chance to return to world number one when Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova defeated her in the Miami Open semi-final 7-5 6-1.


27-year-old Pliskova had won nine straight games, and 10 of the last 11, to fight back from 5-3 down in the first set.

Meanwhile, Halep would have topped the rankings if she had reached the final but Naomi Osaka maintains top spot as world number one.

Fifth seed Pliskova will meet Australia’s Ashleigh Barty in the final after she beat Anett Kontave.

The Miami Open semi-finals had to be stopped twice because of rain, including when the Czech Pliskova’s extended her win over Halep  7-5 5-0 during the game.

“It was a very long day, I know we had to wait around but it was an opportunity to drink some coffee and watch the golf so I was relaxed,” she said.

“When I came out I was ready for business. I didn’t start well but I was able to reset and do what I had to do.”

 “It wasn’t easy waiting for so long but I managed to stay aggressive,” Pliskova said.

Elsewhere, Shapovalov is to face ‘idol’ Federer in semis and Barty, 22, reached the biggest final of her career by winning 6-3 6-3, breaking the Estonian’s serve on five occasions on a rain-interrupted day in Miami.

By Olukayode Oniwinde

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