Muchova marches into US Open semis with win over Cirstea

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Muchova marches into US Open semis with win over Cirstea

Muchova is two wins away from the title
Muchova is two wins away from the titleReuters
Karolina Muchova (27) was happy with all facets of her game as she overwhelmed Romania's Sorana Cirstea (33) 6-0, 6-3 on Tuesday to set up a US Open semi-final against American Coco Gauff.

Muchova, seeded 10th, hit 32 winners and played outstanding defence to see off Cirstea at Arthur Ashe Stadium and reach the last four at Flushing Meadows for the first time.

"I felt very good actually from the start till the end," Muchova told reporters.

"I had a good feeling with the ball from the baseline, I felt good on the net, slicing, and with my whole game.

"I really like the court and like the atmosphere and I was enjoying it."

French Open finalist Muchova got off to a quick start and raced out to a 3-0 lead before fending off nine break points to win a marathon game and extend it to 4-0.

A flustered Cirstea's backhand then landed wide to put her opponent up 5-0 and Muchova completed the bagel the next game.

After an animated conversation with her coach during the break between sets, Cirstea held to start the second and broke for 2-0 when her charge to the net caused Muchova to miss a passing shot.

But the 27-year-old broke right back, and again for a 4-3 lead she would not relinquish as her net play, precise lobs and pinpoint serving carried the day.

Cirstea missed a swinging volley to set up match point, which Muchova converted with a forehand winner to end the contest in just over an hour and a half.

Muchova's ranking plummeted last year amid injury woes but now healthy she entered the top 10 for the first time after finishing runner-up to Gauff at the Cincinnati Open.

Her mental game is as strong as ever, she said.

"Mental strength... I always feel that I'm pretty, I would say, tough cookie in life as well," she said with a smile.

"That helps with tennis. But yeah, some days are better; some days not. But I always try to keep a clear mind and to be relaxed and enjoy the sport, just the basics."

Next up for Muchova is Gauff, who was a 6-0, 6-2 winner over Jelena Ostapenko earlier in the day. The Czech said she knows she will be up against both the 19-year-old American and the home crowd on Friday.

"She's very athletic. She never gives up. Runs for every ball," she said.

"Doesn't do many mistakes. So she has kind of all the strokes. So very, very good player from all the aspects."

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