Kvitova beats Cirstea, advances to Miami Open final against Rybakina

It will be Elena Rybakina vs. Petra Kvitova for the Miami title following their respective semifinal victories. Kvitova defeated Sorana Cirstea on Friday.

Petra Kvitova Ostrava 2022 Petra Kvitova competes in Ostrava 2022 CTK Photobank / Panoramic
Miami Open presented by Itau •Semi-final • completed
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Petra Kvitova advanced to the final of the Miami Open by beating Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 6-4 on Friday afternoon. Kvitova struck seven aces and was broken only once while advancing after one hour and 42 minutes.

It was Cirstea who started fast, however. The Romanian surged ahead 5-2 before Kvitova got on track. It was with Cirstea serving at 5-3 when the tide started to turn. The world No 74 had double-set point on her own serve at 40-15, but she could not convert and eventually got broken. From there Kvitova took control, holding at love and the breaking at love for a 6-5 advantage. She then served it out to completely steal the set from out under Cirstea.

With momentum in hand, Kvitova broke right away to begin the second and that was all she would need. The 12th-ranked Czech consolidated her advantage the entire way without facing a single break point in the set. She converted her second match point at 5-4, 40-30 with a service winner.

“She had a few set points,” Kvitova reflected. “I think when I turned it around, it was a different story. I felt much (more) confident. I’m really happy that one break in the second set was enough, but it wasn’t easy to serve it out.”

First Miami final for Kvitova, with Rybakina waiting

Kvitova, ranked No 12, will play 10th seed and Indian Wells champion Elena Rybakina in Saturday’s final. It will be the 33-year-old’s first-ever appearance in the Miami championship match.

“It will be a great match, definitely,” Kvitova assured. “She’s on fire. I just have to serve very well and try to be aggressive. I think it will just be about a few points.”

Earlier in the tournament Kvitova defeated Linda Noskova (6-3, 6-0), Croat Donna Vekic, the No 22 seed (6-4, 7-6(3)), Russian qualifier Varvara Gracheva (7-5, 7-6(5)) and Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova, the No 18 seed (6-4, 3-6, 6-3) in the previous rounds of the Miami tournament.

It was still an outstanding event for Cirstea, whose run featured victories over Mexican wild card Fernanda Contreras Gomez (7-6(6), 6-2), Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, the No 5 seed (6-2, 6-3), Czech qualifier Karolina Muchova (7-5, 6-1), Czech Marketa Vondrousova (7-6(3), 6-4) and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, the second seed (6-4, 6-4).

“There were a few games…I think about four games where I didn’t play as well as I wanted,” Cirstea lamented. “And then I came back into the match in the second set, but it was already too late.”

Miami WTA 1000, other semi-final result:

  • Elena Rybakina beat Jessica Pegula (3): 7-6(3), 6-4

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