Safarova & Petkovic Go The Distance
Published October 03, 2013 12:02
Both had taken out seeds to get to the match-up - Safarova beat No.15 seed Sam Stosur, Petkovic beat No.2 seed Victoria Azarenka - and there wasn't a seat to be had to watch the all-unseeded battle, with the two players playing two hours and 50 minutes before Safarova finally won, 64 67(4) 76(2).
Petkovic had her chances - she broke serve in the first game of the third set and had a 40-15 lead in the next game, seemingly on her way to a 2-0 lead - but Safarova broke back and got back on track.
Safarova is now 11-1 since the US Open, winning her fifth WTA title at Québec City (5-0), reaching the quarterfinals of Tokyo before falling to Caroline Wozniacki (3-1) and now the quarters here (3-0).
Speaking of Wozniacki, the No.6-seeded Dane was also among the winners, beating No.11-seeded Sloane Stephens, 63 61. But it was much closer than the score - one hour and 44 minutes close.
"We had a lot of long rallies and long games," Wozniacki said. "But I managed to keep my head cool and keep fighting, though I lost that one very long game in the beginning, where she was serving."
"Serena is a great competitor and an unbelievable champion - she's won so much," Wozniacki said. "For me, tomorrow I have so much to play for because the WTA Championships are coming up and I'm trying to grab a spot there. I really need to win tomorrow to have a chance. We'll see what happens."
Other winners were No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who dropped two games early in the second set but never looked in trouble against qualifier Polona Hercog, 60 62, and No.7 seed Angelique Kerber, who managed to even up a losing 2-1 head-to-head against No.10 seed Roberta Vinci, 62 64.
"I think Polona started to play a bit better in the second set," Radwanska said of the blip. "We had a couple of very tight games, but I think I was a little better in the important moments. The score maybe looked a little bit easy, but the match wasn't easy at all. I just knew I had to stay in the game."
"Roberta's a great player and has played an amazing season," Kerber said of Vinci. "I've played her before and she has such a good slice, but I just had to focus on my game and not hers today. The first thing I always need to do is just focus on my game - just play aggressive, move well and serve well."
Radwanska and Kerber play each other next - Radwanska leads the head-to-head, 4-3, but Kerber did win their only previous meeting this year, and that was just one week ago in the quarterfinals of Tokyo.
"We played a couple of days ago, but it's different conditions and different courts here," Radwanska said. "I'm not feeling any pressure, though. I'm already in Istanbul, I'm here in the quarterfinals and I'm playing somebody from the Top 10, so hopefully I can just play well and have a good match."