The first big clay title of the season will put Petra Kvitova against Anett Kontaveit in the Stuttgart final Sunday.
Kvitova dropped the second but cruised in the third to beat Kiki Bertens 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-1 to reach her first final at the German event.
“I think I had a really great two weeks of preparation on clay,” the third-seeded Kvitova said. “You know me, I always need matches to get used to the clay.
“From the beginning today, I was playing much, much better, so it’s about playing and playing on the clay. You can’t really do that if you lose in the first match.”
“The key for playing well today was winning yesterday,” Kvitova joked. “I think we both played a really good match today.”
Kontaveit reached the final without having to hit a ball as top seed and World No. 1 Naomi Osaka had to withdraw from the semifinal match with an ab injury.
“I felt it yesterday at the start of the match,” Osaka said. “She was asking me in the third set why my serve dropped and it was actually for that reason.
“I wanted to wait to see if I could play. I woke up today and I had to roll out of bed, then I decided I wasn’t able to play.”
Kontaveit is into just her fifth career WTA final, seeking her second win and the biggest of her career.
Meanwhile, Kvitova bids for a 27th crown and if she wins, she’ll become the first player this year on the WTA with multiple title.
“We played last year twice on the clay – in Madrid and in French Open,” Kvitova said looking ahead. “I lost in French Open, and won in Madrid. We practiced here before the tournament started, it was a fun practice.
“Anett definitely has improved. She knows how to play, especially on the key points – I think that’s what she improved, the mentality. I just need to be there and be ready for anything.
“I think it will be a nice final, even today the atmosphere was very nice to play in front of this crowd. Hopefully it will be the same tomorrow – there’s no German player so maybe they will support both sides.”
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