February 17, 2018 / 8:05 PM / 4 months ago

Kvitova knocks out Wozniacki to set up Qatar final with Muguruza

(Reuters) - Petra Kvitova made a shaky start but found her attacking verve midway through the match to beat world number one Caroline Wozniacki 3-6 7-6(3) 7-5 in the Qatar Open on Saturday and set up a final with Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.

Tennis - WTA Premier 5 - Qatar Open - Semifinals - Doha, Qatar - February 17, 2018. Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic celebrates after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark. REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari

Kvitova, 27, who lost the opening set tamely and looked in some trouble while trailing 3-1 in the second, fought back in style to clinch her fourth straight victory over the Dane in two hours and 35 minutes.

“I don’t know what happened. I was a little crazy in my mind and I was playing everywhere and not to the court,” twice Wimbledon champion Kvitova said in a courtside interview.

Tennis - WTA Premier 5 - Qatar Open - Semifinals - Doha, Qatar - February 17, 2018. Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic in action against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark. REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari

“I tried to calm myself down a little bit in the second set. Even though I was losing, I was trying to get back somehow.

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“When I was down 3-1 I was really angry with myself and I tried to hit some winners,” added Kvitova, who made 59 unforced errors including 11 double faults, but also hit 50 winners.

Having dragged the second set into a tiebreaker which she edged, the battling Czech quickly switched gears and attacked her opponent relentlessly to prevail in the decider.

Up next for Kvitova is Muguruza, who enjoyed the day off after her semi-final opponent Simona Halep pulled out of the tournament with a right foot injury after her win on Friday.

“She (Muguruza) had a day off today. Who knows if it’s an advantage or not, but I had a great match,” added Kvitova. “It was great for my confidence turning the match around.”

World number 21 Kvitova won the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy earlier this month and a second title of the season on Sunday could give her a shot at getting back into the top 10.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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