MASON, Ohio (AP) Karolina Pliskova has reached the Western & Southern Open final for the first time, looking to succeed Serena Williams as champion.
Williams, the two-time defending champ, skipped the tournament with a sore shoulder. The 15th-seeded Pliskova beat Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-3 in the semifinals on Saturday.
If Angelique Kerber reaches the final and wins in Cincinnati, she would move ahead of Williams for the WTA's No. 1 ranking. Williams has topped the rankings for 183 straight weeks, the second-longest such streak.
Andy Murray is the top player left on the men's side, which was wiped out by injuries. Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer skipped the tournament, and Rafael Nadal was knocked out early as he plays back into shape following a severe wrist injury.
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