WASHINGTON, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Swiss Belinda Bencic's excellent adventure continues at the BNP Paribas Open as the former world No.7 shook off a tough challenge from No.5 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic to win at 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 and reach the semifinals on Thursday.
The victory was her 12th win in a row. After several years of injury struggles, Bencic kickstarted her season with a win at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships where she scored four straight top 10 wins en route to the title.
Celebrating her 22nd birthday in Indian Wells, she came off her fourth round win over world No. 1 and defending champion Naomi Osaka of Japan and then spent two hours and 16 minutes overcoming good friend Pliskova in the quarterfinals.
"I'm very confident," Bencic said after the match. "I'm really just trying to take it one step at a time. Of course now it's been a few steps more. I'm not putting pressure on myself even now. I'm just playing."
"The less I think on the court the better it is. When you're confident, you can really just trust your instincts and you don't have to think about it at all. I'm definitely playing how I feel it, and it's going well so I'm not planning on changing that," Bencic added.
"I was struggling a little bit with myself since the beginning of the match," a disappointed Pliskova said after the match. "Physically it was tough, and the wind didn't help much. So my serve was bad, my shots were bad. I think it's good that I fought and it went to the third set."
Standing between Bencic and a second straight final will be Angelique Kerber of Germany, who defeated Venus Williams of the United States in another quarterfinal.