Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova will clash Sunday in the finals of the WTA Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. And at stake for the winner is the No. 2 ranking, a level neither player has reached before.
En route to the title match, Azarenka routed Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-3 on Saturday.
“Tomorrow is about sudden death,” Azarenka said. “It’s the last match at a very important tournament. It’s the first time in the final for both of us and we both want to win. It’ll take everything out of us and I hope we can show the best tennis we can.”
Kvitova needed three sets to knock out US Open champion Sam Stosur 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 and remain perfect at 18-0 on the year indoors.
“Sam was serving very well today, so it was key I was able to break her in the second and third sets,” said Kvitova who is appearing in her first year-end Championships event. “It was getting very tough at the end. I had 5-0 and then she was playing very fast, hitting many winners. It was getting tough to concentrate on my service games. You never know what will happen when you play against top players. But I served great the last game.”
Kvitova leads Azarenka in their head-to-head 3-2 including winning the last three, two this year at Madrid and Wimbledon.
“Against Vika we played two times this year already,” Kvitova said. “I won both, so hopefully it will be better for me, mentally. So we know each other very well.”
Kvitova is seeking her 6th title of the year, Azarenka her 4th.
There’s big money on the line for both players. Kvitova will pocket $1,750,000 if she wins and $890,000 if she finishes runner-up. Azarenka takes home $1,635,000 if she wins and $775,000 if she is runner-up.
On ATP circuit, top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga meets No. 2 seed Juan Martin Del Potro Sunday for the Vienna title. Del Potro has won all three prior meetings with the Frenchman.
The 23-year-old Del Potro is bidding for his third ATP title of the season and his 10th overall, first indoors. Tsonga seeks his 7th career title, 2nd of the 2011.
In Russia, Janko Tipsarevic looks to continue his hot stretch run against No. 4 seed Marin Cilic in the St. Petersburg final. Cilic has won five of six against the Serb, but the Tipsarevic comes in ranked higher and on a high after recent titles in Kuala Lumpur and Moscow.
Both Del Potro and Tipsarevic have outside chances still at London, but they’ll have to win Sunday to maintain hopes.
WTA Sunday Schedule
Sinan Erdem Dome (from 14.30hrs)
1. Doubles Final: Peschke/Srebotnik vs. Huber/Raymond
2. Singles Final: Petra Kvitova vs. Victoria Azarenka (NB 17.00hrs)
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