Kvitova Battles Into Semifinals & Top 10

Petra Kvitova will become the sixth Czech player to crack the Top 10 after her quarterfinal win.

Published May 06, 2011 12:00

Kvitova Battles Into Semifinals & Top 10
Petra Kvitova

MADRID, Spain - People were predicting it during her famous Grand Slam runs at Wimbledon last year and the Australian Open this year, and now it has become a reality. By virtue of winning her quarterfinal match-up at the Mutua Madrid Open on Friday evening, Petra Kvitova will be a Top 10 player.

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Kvitova, ranked No.18, survived No.28-ranked Dominika Cibulkova in a two-hour, 14-minute war, coming back from a set and a break down to push it to a third set then holding off her determined opponent to make the semis, 36 63 75.

Twice in the third set Kvitova was up a break and got broken back, but in the end she broke again for 6-5 then served it out, finishing it with an ace on match point. Cibulkova actually won more points in the match, 94 to 92.

"It was tough to play Dominika because we are good friends," Kvitova said after the match. "We'll be playing doubles at Roland Garros together."

Kvitova will rise to No.10 on next week's rankings, her Top 10 debut. She will be the sixth Czech ever to grace that elite, following Martina Navratilova, Hana Mandlikova, Helena Sukova, Jana Novotna and Nicole Vaidisova.

Awaiting Kvitova in the semifinals will be No.6 seed Li Na, who also won a marathon quarterfinal match, taking out Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 64 36 64. Mattek-Sands, who had beaten No.15 seed Ana Ivanovic and No.3 seed Francesca Schiavone en route to the quarters, was up a break twice in the third but Li broke back in the next game each time; the Chinese ended up winning the last 10 points of the match from 3-4, 30-all to finish it off.

"Bethanie played amazing today, it was fantastic tennis. I kept looking at my couch thinking, 'What's going on here!'" Li said. "I'm really happy to win this one. I am happy about winning again and I hope to go even further here."

"Her serve was tough to break - in one game she hit four lines with her serve," Mattek-Sands said. "She knew I liked to attack the second serve and was hitting hard. I was just trying to play my game but made a couple of mistakes at inopportune moments. I was happy with my effort though. I beat two French Open champs so it's definitely a confidence booster for Roland Garros."

World No.6 Li is the highest-ranked Chinese player of all time, in fact China's only Top 10 player in WTA history. If she wins this title she could raise the bar even higher - she would rise to No.5 in the world on the new rankings.

Li and Kvitova will be playing against each other for the first time.

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