Petra Kvitova is just one match away from her first slam final since 2014, an achievement that would cap an amazing 18 months since she returned from a lengthy layoff due to a horrific attack suffered at her home. The Czech will play the unseeded Danielle Collins and has to be confident of victory, even if the American has been in stellar form this fortnight. Check out the Kvitova vs Collins H2H stats.
Very few if any people would have predicted Collins in this position pre-tournament but she absolutely deserves it with a host of an impressive wins. A demolition of Angelique Kerber was the highlight but wins over Julia Goerges and Caroline Garcia are just as impressive. It was a comeback win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova that sealed her place in the semi finals, eventually easing to a 2-6 7-5 6-1 victory. Collins hits big but it is her toughness and confidence that have impressed many. After five straight first round slam exits to begin her career, she is now just one win away from a match for the title. “This has all been a really incredible experience. Obviously it’s my first time playing main draw here in Australia, so I think that’s a little bit new to me.” she said. “But, yeah, I think I’m really embracing it. It makes it a lot easier when you play in front of great fans and really good energy.”
Kvitova continues to steamroller the draw, having not dropped a set so far. Ashleigh Barty was the latest to have a crack but was never really in the match, losing 6-1 6-4. Kvitova has dropped five games or less in each of her five wins so far, showing the level of consistency she has maintained throughout the tournament. She did not drop serve in the match, meaning she has still only been broken just three times. It puts her in good stead for an opponent who has been seeing the ball very well and breaking serve regularly against some very strong opponents.
“It was kind of a mix of emotions of everything I’ve been through. You know, sometimes I’m not really recognizing anything from the past. But when Jim asked that, it wasn’t really easy for me to kind of see myself being in a semifinal after everything. I always wanted to come back and play on the highest level I can, compete with the best, play the Grand Slams, actually be very deep in the Grand Slam, which is happening. Yeah, it just took me a bit to the tears, but it was happy tears, for sure.” Petra said afterwards. A first Australian Open final would make this comeback story even more special and it would be well deserved.
Prediction – Petra Kvitova in straight sets