Kvitova, Bouchard in Wuhan Open final
WUHAN, September 26
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova advanced to the final of the inaugural Wuhan Open after overpowering Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-3, 7-5 on Friday.
Kvitova will be aiming for her third title of the year – and more importantly, a spot in the season-ending WTA Championships in Singapore. She will join Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep in the field if she wins the final.
“It feels good, for sure,” she said. “The final, and fighting for the title, are why we are playing tennis, we are enjoying every moment. I’m glad that I’m in the final again.”She’ll face Canadian Eugenie Bouchard in a rematch of their Wimbledon final on Saturday after the Montrealer defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the other semi-final in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.
Kvitova has always struggled with her consistency, and her results since capturing her second Wimbledon title in July are typical. She won a pre-U.S. Open tournament in New Haven, but days later crashed out in the third round in New York to 145th-ranked Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia. She also lost her opening match in Cincinnati to Svitolina, their only previous meeting.
But Kvitova put aside distractions from the stifling humidity and the sounds of construction coming from the soon-to-be-completed, 15,000-seat centre court being built at the Wuhan Open, to put Svitolina away.
Kvitova broke to go up 6-5 in the second set, but wasted two match points with errors in the next game, and then double-faulted to give Svitolina break point. When the Ukrainian couldn’t convert, Kvitova closed out the match on her third attempt.
The Czech left-hander overpowered Svitolina with her forehand, jumping on short balls repeatedly for winners, and saved five of six break points she faced.
The Wuhan Open is by far the biggest of the three new WTA events in China this year, attracting all of the world’s top 20 players, with the notable exception of hometown player Li Na. The Chinese star announced her retirement on the eve of the tournament, saying recurring knee problems made it impossible for her to continue.
The draw was depleted, however, when top seeds fell early, including top-ranked Williams, who retired with a viral illness in her opening match against Alize Cornet, as well as No. 2 Halep, No. 4 Sharapova and No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska.
Kvitova hasn’t faced a seeded player on her way to the final.