Czech No. 1 Petra Kvitova ended Tsvetlana Pironkova’s title defense in the semi-final stage of the Apia Sydney International and will now contest the tournament final against soon-to-be Top 20 competitor Karolina Pliskova. The two competitors met once previously on the professional tour, a meeting that Kvitova won in three sets to give herself a 1-0 lead in the head-to-head series.
Watch the match live here: Kvitova v Pliskova
After losing to Pironkova at this event last season, Petra Kvitova made sure not to allow history to repeat itself and crusied past her opponent 7-5, 6-1 to reach the final in Sydney. The win snapped Pironkova’s 14-match win streak and sent Kvitova to her first final of the season – days ahead of the season-opening Grand Slam.
“I’m glad that revenge went well today and I have the chance to be in the final here in Sydney,” Kvitova said. “I think that I played better today than last year against her. I am glad I played how I need to play: aggressively, going forward, attacking the ball early, and just playing my game.”
Kvitova’s serve was particularly impressive, as she struck 4 aces, and won 83% of her first service points to close out the match in 67 minutes.
“I served well, so was very important today. That helps me. I’m looking for tomorrow.”
Kvitova’s next encounter will be against fifth seed Karolina Pliskova, who toppled German No. 1 Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-2 to reach the final. She hit seven aces, and won a whopping 97% of her first service points to storm past her opponent in 55 minutes.
“She is playing really risky, going for the winners. That’s what I will do tomorrow as well. You know, we just practice in off‑season. I went in Prague and had a few points over there for an hour, and we played in Wuhan as well,” Kvitova said when asked about her final opponent.” She was a part of our team in Fed Cup in the final.”
This is the first all-Czech final on the WTA tour since 2009 and will likely be an enthralling encounter between two in-form competitors. Both looked phenomenal in their semi-final appearances and it will be hard to determine a winner ahead of the match. While Kvitova holds a 1-0 lead in the series, Pliskova is on an unwards trend in the rankings and may have the necessary momentum to pick up the upset and lift the title.
Prediction: Karolina Pliskova in Three Sets