WASHINGTON DC, USA - Rain pushed the Semifinal Saturday schedule later, later and later until eventually one of the semifinals didn't even get on the court until Sunday, technically - but at the end of the day it was Magdalena Rybarikova and Andrea Petkovic who battled through to the Citi Open final.
The No.7-seeded Rybarikova was the first of the two to advance to the final, winning 10 games in a row from 2-all in the opening set and closing out No.3 seed Ekaterina Makarova at 11:54pm, 62 60.
"It wasn't easy with the rain delay and playing so late, but I'm happy I was able to win tonight," Rybarikova said. "I had some amazing matches here last year, winning the title without even losing a set; the first three matches this year were much, much tougher, but I played a very good match from my side tonight and I'm happy I was able to win in straight sets again. It's a great result for me."
And any thoughts on her potential final opponent? "Not at all because it's too late!" she said. "I just want to enjoy this victory and I don't know who it'll be anyway. It will be tough whoever it is."
The match finished at 2:10am.
"I think we can both play much better, but considering the circumstances I think we were playing fine," Petkovic said after coming off court. "We were both a little off-rhythm on the serve because we hadn't played under the lights here yet. I was struggling there. But apart from that and a little bit of a slow start, I was moving well and hitting the ball okay. Given everything today, I think I was playing fine."
How did Petkovic pass the time before the match? "I was watching Wrestlemania!" she said. "So that was interesting. And apart from that I was just reading - I always have my book with me. Sleeping... I wasn't even sure if we were going to play. But when we knew we would, I just tried to stay focused."
Rybarikova and Petkovic will be playing each other for the first time. The Slovak has a better record in WTA finals, going 3-1 - including winning here last year. Petkovic is 2-4 lifetime in WTA finals.