Czech It Out: Kvitova, Safarova To Meet In Finals

NEW HAVEN, CT: Agnieszka Radwanksa plays Petra Kvitova during the 2015 Connecticut Open at the Yale University Tennis Center on Thursday, August 27, 2015 in New Haven, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open)

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open

Playing in the final at the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies has become routine for Petra Kvitova, who advanced to her fourth final in four years after defeating four-time Champion Caroline Wozniacki on Friday.

Joining the two-time champion is a newcomer to the Connecticut Open finals but a veteran of WTA accolades, as French Open finalist Lucie Safarova meets Kvitova in an all-Czech final.

Petra’s Path
Following a first-round bye, Kvitova opened play with a strong test against rising star and American Madison Keys. The young American was off to a blazing start, downing the Czech 4-6 in the first frame. However, Kvitova would regain her composure and control of match, besting the Rising Star 6-1, 6-2 in the final frames to win the match.

Kvitova’s road was not much easier in the quarterfinals, as the Czech found herself in a tense battle with Agnieszka Radwanska. Kvitova was able to keep Radwanska at bay, however, moving past the Pole 7-5, 6-4.

In a popcorn match, Kvitova faced four-time champion Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinal. The Czech outlasted the Dane is a marathon first set, winning the frame 7-5. Kvitova broke open in the second set to the tune of 6-1, advancing to her fourth Connecticut Open final in four years.

Safovara’s Run
While it has been business as usual for Kvitova, Safarova advanced to the finals lovak has produced a magical run to the finals.

The No. 4 seed in the tournament, Safarova began her campaign against Russian Daria Gavrilova. The Czech took the opener rather handedly, dismissing the Russian 6-3, 6-4. Safarova’s second-round tilt was identical to the first, as the Czech defeated Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu by the same margin. However, Safarova would get a mighty test from a fellow Grand Slam finalist in the quarterfinals.

Working her way back from Achilles surgery performed earlier this year, Dominika Cibulkova gave the Czech a strong test in the quarterfinal tilt. Cibulkova bested the Czech in a first set tiebreak, 6-7(4), and looked poised for an upset. However, Safarova would recover in the second, winning 6-4 to force a third. Safarova and Cibulkova battled to a tough finish in the third, but the Czech would prevail 7-5.

In the semifinal, Safarova matched wits with Lucky Loser Lesia Tsurenko. The Czech blazed through the opening set 6-2, but Tsurenko made it a match in the second to force a tiebreak. In a back-and-forth battle, the Czech would prevail, winning the deciding set 7-6(4).

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