Semifinal. Day 6. Petra Kvitova

Tennis Host Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018. Semifinal. Day-6. Petra Kvitova

Tennis Host. Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018 / Photo: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
[16] Petra Kvitova -21- (CZE) def [1] Caroline Wozniacki -01- (DEN) 36 76(3) 75

What a match! This year’s 16-seed Petra Kvitova can’t stop winning. She’s won 12 consecutive matches since being punted from the 1st-Round of the Australian Open in mid-January. Kvitova earned five in-a-row to capture her 21st career title in St. Petersburg, picked up a pair of Fed Cup wins last weekend, and has now earned five additional victories to reach her 29th career Final. Impressive.

And make no mistake, these have been heavy-weight knockouts in Doha. In Round-2, after losing set-1 to 5-time Qatar Total Open Semifinalist Agnieszka Radwanska, she recovered to keep the win-streak alive. Since that comeback, she’s earned three top-10 wins, including her 5th career victory over a World #1.

Petra Kvitova’s Remarkable Road to the Final:
Petra and Caroline’s most memorable battle

Before tonight, Petra Kvitova earned three consecutive straight-set victories over Caroline Wozniacki: 2015 New Haven Semifinals, the 2nd-Round of the Summer Games in Rio, and last October in the China Open’s Round of 16.

This Semifinal was a different story.

Caroline struck first after the second changeover. Behind heavy ground strokes and pinpoint precision, Petra responded in kind……only to give up the break again with a double fault. Up 5-3, Wozniacki was steady and served out the set.

At the start of set-2, the World #1 got to every ball. Caroline’s defense was exquisite. Petra pumped an overhead into the net to give up the break, then Caroline scored an easy hold to consolidate. 9-minutes later, Petra finally got on the board with a hold before the sit-down.

By all appearances, Wozniacki was in firm control. It looked like we would be done in two. But Kvitova scored a huge break to get back on serve at 3-all. Then, from 4-all, the two traded breaks twice to bring on the tie-break. Down 1-3, Petra caught fire, winning six straight points to force the decider. Riveting stuff.

Petra Kvitova wins the decider with two timely breaks

In the third set, Petra Kvitova finally earned the first break-chance at 3-all, but Caroline recovered, winning the game with an ace. At 4-3 Wozniacki, Kvitova serving, things got testy as Caroline was denied a challenge by chair umpire Emmanuel Joseph. Two points later, Petra leveled it at 4-all.

Finally, Petra broke through in game-9, earning the first break of the set. But Caroline responded with a break of her own, taking it to 5-all. Seriously solid tennis from both sides, and an absolute pleasure to see up close.

Somehow, Petra broke again to gain the advantage 6-5, then held-on to serve out the set and the match. With the victory, Petra now owns five career wins over World #1 opponents, and extends her win-streak to 12 consecutive matches. If she bests Muguruza tomorrow, she will win her 22nd career title and extend the win streak to 13 straight matches.

Up Next: [04] Garbine Muguruza -04- (ESP)

Garbine scored the Golden Draw at this year’s Qatar Total Open. Unlike Kvitova, as one of the top-8 seeds, the World #4 enjoyed a 1st-Round Bye. Her toughest test came in the Quarterfinals, where she dropped Caroline Garcia in a deciding set. After Simona Halep’s withdrawal yesterday, Garbine sneaked into the Championship match without even taking the court.

Muguruza and Kvitova have played four times in their careers. Petra won their last three matches, including a 76(3) 63 victory over the Summer in the Round of 16 at the US Open. Tomorrow, we’ll see if the inspiring Czech has enough left in the tank to dispatch her third top-5 opponent in Doha, to earn back-to-back titles.

Garbine Muguruza’s Fortunate Road to the Final:
Petra Kvitova

This 27-year-old, 2-time Grand Slam Champion reached tonight’s Semifinal match with a pair of top-10 wins over Elina Svitolina and Julia Goerges. 2-weeks ago, she won her 21st career singles title in St. Petersburg – won both of her Fed Cup rubbers over the weekend – and with a Semifinal run here in Doha, is now on an 11-match win-streak. She’s a 2-time Wimbledon Champion, Olympic Bronze Medalist, 5-time Fed Cup Champion, won their year-end WTA Finals in her 2011 debut, and has been ranked as high as World #2. Remarkably, in her inspiring return to the sport last year after a career-threatening injury, she won the title in Birmingham in just her second event back on tour. Competing in her 5th Qatar Total Open, from the Czech Republic – Please welcome, Petra Kvitova

Caroline Wozniacki

Last month, this 27-year-old won the biggest title of her career, capturing the 2018 Australian Open title. With the victory, she regained the World #1 ranking for the first time in 5-years, and has now held the sport’s top position for a remarkable 70-weeks. A 3-time Grand Slam Finalist, she started the new year by reaching her 51st career Singles Final in Auckland; and with the win in Melbourne, now owns 28 career Singles titles in all. She’s qualified for the WTA Finals 5-times; and last November, captured the year-end championship with wins over four of the sport’s top-5 players. Her record on this court is outstanding – She’s reached 3 championship matches here in Doha – at the 2010 WTA Finals, and the 2011 and 2017 Qatar Total Opens. From Denmark – Please welcome, the #1 Player in the World, Caroline Wozniacki