Underdogs Prevail In SFs
Published January 07, 2011 12:00
BRISBANE, Australia - The last two seeds standing were both knocked down in the semifinals of the Brisbane International on Friday night, as Marion Bartoli and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova were both eliminated by unseeded players one round before the final of the $220,000 tournament.
First to go was No.4 seed Bartoli, who burst out to a 4-1 first set lead with points for 5-1 when Andrea Petkovic caught fire, capturing eight games in a row to build a 64 30 lead. She barely looked back and prevailed, 64 62.
"Like I said yesterday, I'm a Diesel, it takes me a while to get going," Petkovic said. "Marion returns really well. She puts a lot of pressure on you - you really have to hit your serves away from her. The games were close at the end of the first set but I was able to take them. I had a good attitude on the court today."
"She was cracking the ball very well from both sides. It was one of those days where my opponent was playing well and I was missing by just a little bit," Bartoli said. "I started well, but even those games were really tight. It happens. It's just my first tournament of the year and I'll learn from it. I just have to go to the next event and try again. I'm leaving for Hobart tomorrow."
In the second semifinal, No.5 seed Pavlyuchenkova had a similar 4-1 start with point for 5-1 when Petra Kvitova came alive, winning five games in a row to take the first set. Kvitova wasn't able to close the match out in straight sets but played a dominant third set to book her spot in the final, 64 46 62.
Petkovic and Kvitova are tied in their head-to-head series, 2-2. Kvitova won their first two meetings while Petkovic has won their last two. They are separated by two spots in the rankings (Petkovic No.32, Kvitova No.34).
Both Petkovic and Kvitova are 1-1 in WTA finals, Petkovic winning Bad Gastein in 2009 but finishing runner-up at 's-Hertogenbosch in 2010 (losing to Justine Henin in the final) and Kvitova winning Hobart in 2009 and finishing runner-up at Linz that year too (losing to Yanina Wickmayer in the final).