Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova will be battling in the final of the China Open for the attractive $918,000 in prize money, having sent home Samantha Stosur and Ana Ivanovic, respectively.
Following her triumph at the Wuhan Open last weekend, which ensured her berth in the WTA Championships, the third-seeded Kvitova is now one victory away from climbing back to No.2 in the rankings. After Kvitova won the first set 6-3 against Samantha Stosur, the second set went with serve all the way until the twelfth game when Kvitova dropped hers, having previously saved seven break points, while her opponent’s score in that department was perfect 0/0. However, the Czech bounced back in the decider and after winning five straight games celebrated 6-3 5-7 6-2.
In the second semifinal in Beijing, the fourth-seeded Sharapova broke the ninth-seeded Ivanovic’s serve at the start of both sets, but the second set turned out to be much more dramatic than the first set through which Masha stormed 6-0, as Ivanovic dropped even her serves in which she had 40-0 and her conversion of break points was equally bad. The match heated up when Ivanovic broke Sharapova to love in the second game of the second set and consolidated the lead by taking the following game, her first hold in the match. They fought toe-to-toe until 4-4, when Sharapova broke for 5-4, earning the crucial game of the match.
However, Sharapova’s triumph didn’t come so quickly. Her final service game of the match lasted about 10 minutes, included multiple match points and at one point Ivanovic was even handed the game, before Hawk-Eye revealed Sharapova’s ball was in and they were back on deuce. At that point, Sharapova took charge quickly, hitting an ace and capitalizing on Ivanovic’s long forehand to win 6-0 6-4. (photos: Jimmie48)