The two semi final matches in the Premier Level Toray Pan Pacific Open tournament being played in Tokyo this week were played on Friday afternoon. In the first, the unseeded Venus Williams (Bio) took on the challenge of leftie 7th seed Petra Kvitova (Bio). Williams has had a good run through to this stage of the tournament, taking out Mona Barthel and then top seed Victoria Azarenka in straight sets, before beating 13th seed Simona Halep in three in the quarters. After a bye in the first round, Kvitova won her next three rounds in straights en route to the semis. The first two sets were split 6-3 each with Williams taking the first and Kvitova the second. In the cliff hanger decider the two players went toe to toe until the set went to a breaker, mostly because of great serving on both sides of the net, which Kvitova took 7-2 to seal the match which took two hours and twenty four minutes to complete.
The second semi was played between 4th seed Caroline Wozniacki (Bio) and leftie 5th seed Angelique Kerber (Bio). Wozniacki had a first round bye, followed by two straight sets wins and then a tough three setter against Lucie Safarova. Kerber also had a first round bye, then two relatively easy straight sets wins before coming up against 2nd seed Aga Radwanska, whom she surprisingly beat in straights 6-4 6-4 in one minute less than an hour. The German’s prowess continued in her semi, as she got the better of Wozniacki 6-4 7-6 (7-5) in an hour and forty minutes. As is her wont, Wozniacki fought back from 1-5 down in the first set to 4-5; and from 2-4 down in the second set and 2-6 down in the breaker to 5-6, but the German held firm in both sets to take the victory, to set up a final between two lefties.