Karolina Pliskova huffed and puffed, and eventually overcame Garbine Muguruza's resistance to reach the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals.
Czech third seed Pliskova needed a third match point to see off French Open champion Muguruza 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) on Wednesday.
Muguruza refused to surrender as she faced elimination in the quarter-finals at Indian Wells, rallying from 5-2 down in the second set as she fended off two match points heading into a tie-break.
Pliskova, however, was not to be denied her third semi-final of 2017, having reigned supreme in Doha and Brisbane this year.
Scrapes past Muguruza 7-6(2), 7-6(5)! pic.twitter.com/IHjoVCp8G2
— WTA (@WTA) March 16, 2017
KUZNETSOVA AWAITS IN FINAL FOUR
Standing in the way of Pliskova and a spot in the final is Russian eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Kuznetsova – a two-time BNP Paribas Open finalist – was too strong for countrywoman Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3 6-2.
Former world number two Kuznetsova was largely untroubled as she tallied 21 winners and just 12 unforced errors to reach the semis for the first time since 2008.
Races past Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 6-2! pic.twitter.com/DsAi8ZMs83
— WTA (@WTA) March 15, 2017