The Apia Sydney International will feature a semi-final contest pitting the defeding champion against the highest remaining seed in the draw, as Tsvetana Pironkova meets Petra Kvitova for a spot in the tournament final. This is the exact same position the two competitors were in last year, and Pironkova managed to upset the top seed en route to the title. This marks the fifth time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Kvitova leading the head to head series 3-1.
Czech No. 1 Petra Kvitova rallied from a set down to end the dream run of Jamila Gajdosova 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the semi-final round of the tournament. She struck 12 aces and won 78% of her first service points to earn the victory in just over two hours of court time.
Faced with a tricky opponent in her quarter-final match-up, Pironkova eased past Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in straight sets 6-4 6-1.The contest lasted a total of 1 hour and 36 minutes and saw the Bulgarian win 61% of her first service points, and convert on 6 break points. She will now look to replicate her 2014 efforts against Kvitova when they cross paths once again on Thursday afternoon.
“Wow, (I’m) super excited. To be honest, I didn’t really believe that I could go this far again because I had to start from quallies again, which obviously is a very hard thing to do considering the quallies nowadays is not like it was 20 years ago, let’s say,” she said. “It’s also a very strong tournament. So I’m incredibly happy that I’m here today winning again, so I will just try to do it again.”
This marks the fifth time that Kvitova and Pironkova will meet on the WTA tour, with the No. 2 seed leading the series 3-1. However, Pironkova won their most recent meeting, which took place at this very stage of the Apia Sydney International. Given her confidence at this tournament, this could prove to be another upset win for the defending champion.
Prediction: Tsvetana Pironkova in Three Sets