Petra Kvitova ended a 4-match losing streak to World No. 1 Ash Barty in fine style Friday in Doha, defeating the Australian 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
“I pushed myself a lot to go more deeper to the court, not to flying back on the Qatar sign,” Kvitova said. “I tried that she couldn’t have put me away from the baseline that much, so I took time from her and she couldn’t do that much with her forehand.
“That was kind of the key, to try near by the baseline and just play from there and still pushing to the court.”
Looking for a second Doha title, Kvitova will collide with Aryna Sabalenka who rolled past Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-3.
“I’m really happy to be in the final here, especially because it’s my first time here,” Sabalenka said. “It’s really nice and I’m really happy with the level I’m playing right now and well, we’ll see what’s going to happen tomorrow, but for sure I will bring everything I have.”
Kvitova leads Sabalenka 2-1 in their head-to-head.
“It will be totally different. I think in this tournament,” said Kvitova. “I played more kind of tricky opponents, like with the slice and drop shots and high balls. And so maybe Jelena was kind of different, but it was so windy so it wasn’t really about the tennis anyway.
“This will be totally different opponent for me tomorrow, so I’m looking forward for that for sure. Enough of the slices from Ash today, so I’m glad I do have a little bit different opponent.
“It will be a lot of serve and return. It’s the first two shots which is going to decide the match, for sure. And we played a few times already, she beat me, I beat her. And yeah, we’ll see, it’s similar game, so who knows who is going to be lucky.”
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