Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic reacts after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark (UNSEEN) during their singles semi-final match of the Qatar Open tennis competition in Doha. Pic/AFP
Petra Kvitova came from a set down to beat world number one Caroline Wozniacki on Saturday to record her 12th successive victory and advance to the Qatar Open final. The Czech star won 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 to set up a final against Spain's Garbine Muguruza on Sunday. It will be Kvitova's second final this month, after already winning in St Petersburg. Currently the world number 21, the final in Doha also underlines her push to get back to the elite of the women's game following a horrific knife attack at her home 14 months ago. If she wins the final, Kvitova could go back into the top ten in the rankings.
"I don't know what happened. I just came to play and I was crazy a little bit in my mind and I was playing it everywhere," said a jubilant Kvitova afterwards about her comeback. She hit 50 winners, many from her powerful forehand, and her victory was the third she has recorded this week in Doha over a member of the world's top 10. Her winning streak is now the second longest of her career and she is only two victories short of equalling her record set seven years ago. After losing the first set it looked like she was poised to become another victim of Wozniacki, the newly-crowned Australian Open champion, who has enjoyed a blistering start to the season. But Kvitova forced a tie-break in the second set after her opponent served for the match then won six straight points to force a third set.
"In the tie-break when I was down 3-1, I was just really angry with myself so I just tried to hit some winners. That's how that ended," she said. Muguruza had a day's rest on Saturday, receiving a bye in the semi-final after opponent Simona Halep withdrew because of injury. Kvitova though said that would not be an advantage. "I think tomorrow will be another day, another match," said the Czech.
"And nobody will look what was yesterday." Doha would have been Wozniacki's third final this season, after Auckland and the Australian Open. "Definitely disappointing when I had a chance to serve it out twice in that second set," said Wozniacki. "She played aggressively and I made a few unforced errors and I felt that was frustrating because I had my opportunities there." The Dane added however that she was pleased with the her week's work which saw her become only the fourth woman in history to earn $30 million in prize money. "I think we played both really well and I can take a lot out of that. "I just need to live and learn and try not to make the same mistake when I play her next time."
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