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SYDNEY: Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will play in the final of the Sydney International after ending Tsvetana Piron-kova’s incredible run at the tournament on Thursday.
The Czech second seed proved too strong for the plucky Bulgarian defending champion, winning their semifinal 7-5, 6-1. Kvitova ended Pironkova’s quest for a 15th straight win at the Sydney tournament after the Bulgarian came through the qualifying rounds to win the tournament in 2014 and again had to qualify for the main draw this year.
After a stiff contest in the opening set the world No.4 finished off Pironkova with the loss of just one game in the second set. Kvitova set up an all-Czech final with Karolina Pliskova, who was a straight sets winner in the other semi-final over German fifth seed Angelique Kerber.
After a slow start that included losing her opening service game, Kvitova went to a new level and looks in good shape for next week’s Australian Open in Melbourne. Meanwhile, a sapping schedule finally caught up with Kerber. World No.22 Pliskova enjoyed a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win over last year’s finalist.
It had been a tough few days for the German fifth seed and world No.9 who had to endure three three-set matches, including a WTA record late local time finish at 3.10am on Wednesday after rain delays disrupted the tournament schedule. Kerber had little more to offer and was dispatched in just 55 minutes by Pliskova.
“I been playing the whole week really well,” Pliskova said. “I won some good matches. Last week as well in Brisbane I had few good matches, so I’m feeling well and happy to play good before Melbourne.
I was surprised that it was 6-3, 6-2. I played her a few times and it was always a close match. (AFP)