NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - Petra Kvitova was crowned Emirates Airline US Open Series champion at the New Haven Open at Yale on Thursday night, beating fellow Czech lefty Lucie Safarova in the quarterfinals of the Premier tournament to clinch the chance at a $1 million bonus at the US Open.
The No.2-seeded Kvitova never looked in trouble, particularly on serve, hitting 10 aces to no doubles to beat No.8 seed and good friend Safarova, 63 63.
"I've known Lucie for about five years. It's weird to play her, but it wasn't that bad tonight," Kvitova said of her countrywoman. "During the match you don't think about it, you just try to play your best. We both played well tonight."
Kvitova won her first title of the year in Montréal two weeks ago, and last week reached the semifinals of Cincinnati - now she's into her third semifinal in the last three weeks and will finish first in the Emirates Airline US Open Series.
"I don't care about the money - money is not the important thing in the world and in life. I'm just really proud I'm the champion, and glad I've played a lot of good matches and had great results. I'm in the semifinals here in New Haven too. It's all important for my confidence going into the US Open next week."
If Kvitova wins the US Open she will get a $1 million bonus on top of the prize money from the tournament. If she is a runner-up she gets an extra $500,000, semifinalist $250,000, quarterfinalist $125,000, and so on down the rounds.
"I lost against her in Fed Cup, also in Australia - of course, she's a very good player," Errani said of Kvitova. "But we will see. I'm playing well. I'm confident. She plays a strong ball like Bartoli, so I will try to change the game again."
The other semi features No.3 seed Caroline Wozniacki against No.7 seed Maria Kirilenko. Both cruised Thursday, Wozniacki over No.6 seed Dominika Cibulkova, 62 61, and Kirilenko over qualifier Olga Govortsova, 61 62.
"When you're winning matches you always like to come back to that place," said Wozniacki, who is now 20-0 in New Haven. "You always feel very welcome there, just very well taken care of. That's why I enjoy it here in New Haven."
Wozniacki has beaten Kirilenko in all five of their previous meetings, but the Russian was never ranked higher than No.29 in any of them - she is now playing the best tennis of her career and is ranked a career-high No.14.