Cetkovska Upsets Li, Wozniacki Up Next

Petra Cetkovska battled into her first WTA final with a nail-biting semifinal victory over Li Na.

Published August 26, 2011 12:00

Cetkovska Upsets Li, Wozniacki Up Next
Petra Cetkovska, Li Na

NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - Petra Cetkovska continued her dream week on Friday, upsetting her third seed of the week to make her first WTA final. For the title she will face the No.1 player in the world, Caroline Wozniacki.

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Cetkovska, who qualified and had already dispatched No.5 seed Agnieszka Radwanska and No.4 seed Marion Bartoli, was the first to advance into the final, prevailing in an absolute nail-biter against No.2 seed Li Na, 62 57 76(9). Cetkovska had all kinds of chances to close it out earlier - she led 3-1 in the second set and 4-1 in the third, and had her first match point at 5-4 in the third. Li fought back every time and even got to match point herself at 8-7 in the tie-break, but it was not to be, as Cetkovksa closed it out on her fifth match point.

"At first I got really nervous. I was really stressed. The hand, the legs, everything slowed down," Cetkovska said. "And then when she had match point, I was just trying to stay calm, because it was just a couple minutes ago it was me who had match points, now her. I had to tell myself it might be me again.

"There were a lot of emotions out there today, but I'm really happy in the end I fought those emotions and was able to win this match."

Before this summer, Cetkovska had never even been to a semifinal on the WTA - she broke through with a semifinal run in Palermo in July, and has already broken through again with her first final, and at a Premier-level tournament, no less. "It's amazing. If somebody told me that before this tournament, I don't think I would believe it. But I'm still not done here. There's one more match."

Cetkovska now has four Top 10 victories to her name - two against Bartoli, one against Elena Dementieva in 2009 and now one against Li.

Li, who hit 55 unforced errors, looked for the positives. "This week wasn't bad, because I played three tough matches here. I got a little bit more feeling on the court. I know it's not my best tennis, but it will push me for the US Open."

Li was asked about Cetkovska's chances in the final. "She still has a chance. She's not playing crazy like me - up-down, up-down like me. But I think she's playing well. It should be a good match against Wozniacki tomorrow."

World No.1, No.1 seed and three-time defending champion Wozniacki is her opponent in the final, after edging No.3 seed Francesca Schiavone in an entertaining two-setter on Friday night, 76(2) 63. Schiavone played a great first set, her +6 differential (24 winners, 18 errors) far superior to Wozniacki's -7 (3 to 10); but it was Wozniacki who came through in the important moments to seal the set, and she cut down on those errors to win the second set comfortably.

"Francesca is a tough opponent and we had some good rallies, one of them where we both kind of stretched all we could, and I came out on top - it was a very important point in the first set," Wozniacki said. "It goes one way one day, the other way another day. I'm just happy it went my way today."

"She's very consistent. But I didn't catch my chances," Schiavone said. "When I catch my chances, it's good tennis. When I don't take it, she takes it. That's the difference between being No.1 and being where I am. I have a good feeling right now - I just need to keep going. With more discipline I can do very well."

Wozniacki is now 16-0 at this tournament. "The court suits me really well, and the balls. It's also the atmosphere. They do a great job of making me feel at home. It also helps your confidence when you've won here a few times already!"

Wozniacki and Cetkovska will play against each other for the first time.

"I don't know too much about her, but she's obviously playing well. She has won so many matches in a row and beat Li Na, who is a great player," Wozniacki said. "It doesn't happen a lot where you play someone for the first time in a final. It's definitely different. But at the same time, it's the same thing for her too."

See the encore of Tennis Week on Wheel Of Fortune starting August 29.

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