No Letdown For Arn In SFs
Published January 07, 2011 12:00
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Yanina Wickmayer won her ninth consecutive match at the ASB Classic on Friday afternoon, rallying back from the brink of defeat to beat China's Peng Shuai in the semifinals, 36 76(3) 75. She will take on unheralded Hungarian veteran Greta Arn in the title match.
Wickmayer, who won this title last year and is seeded No.2 this year, seemed to be out of luck as Peng served for the match at 63 54 and took a 15-0 lead; but she only seemed to be more motivated, winning 12 of the next 14 points to push the duel to a third and eventually taking the two-hour, 52-minute marathon.
"I thought maybe the 63 54 game would be the last game so I gave it all I had," Wickmayer said. "I'm happy I was able to make it through. Now I'll have time to recover before the final. I'll have a good night of sleep. I'll be okay tomorrow."
Standing in between Wickmayer and a second straight trophy here is the unseeded Arn, who rallied back from triple set point down serving 5-6, 0-40 in the first set to beat No.4 seed Julia Goerges, 76(3) 63. It was her second straight upset, having bounced No.1 seed Maria Sharapova in the quarters.
Arn and Goerges are two of the biggest servers on the WTA. On Friday they hit 15 aces between them - eight for Arn and seven for Goerges.
Wickmayer, 21, will be playing in her sixth WTA final, going 3-2 in her first five (winning titles at Estoril and Linz in 2009 and here last year); Arn, 31, will be playing in her second WTA final, winning her first (at Estoril in 2007).
"It took me a lot of games, a lot of sets and a lot of hours on the court, and I'm happy to be back in the final here," Wickmayer said. "I'm just going to enjoy it."
"When the draw was made I thought, 'Quarterfinals wouldn't be bad.' I knew I'd have Maria in the quarters and it would probably be over," Arn said. "It has been three years since my first WTA final. I'm getting flashbacks from my first final in Estoril, I played another big-hitter there, Azarenka, and I didn't think I would win that final, but I did. Wickmayer moves well, has great strokes and serve, and great attitude on the court. She fights for every point. It'll be another battle."
"I played Greta in Cincinnati last year. She's playing very well, she beat Maria yesterday," Wickmayer said. "Anyone who reaches a final must be playing well, so every final is tough. There's also a little bit more nerves in a final."