Petra Kvitova booked a berth in the Miami Open final for the first time in her career with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Sorana Cirstea on Friday at the Miami Open.
Kvitova, playing in her 99th WTA 1000 event this week, had never before gotten past the quarterfinals in Miami. But after beating Ekaterina Alexandrova on Thursday in a rain-delayed three-set quarterfinal, Kvitova kept her deepest-ever Miami run going with a 1 hour, 41-minute triumph.
Into her FIRST Miami final 🌟🌴@Petra_Kvitova will have the chance to capture her 30th singles title tomorrow after a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Cirstea!#MiamiOpen pic.twitter.com/ErSzLWrnsO— wta (@WTA) March 31, 2023
At 33 years, 25 days, Kvitova is the fourth-oldest finalist in the history of the Miami Open. She'll bid for her ninth career WTA 1000 title in her 13th final appearance on Saturday, as she stands between Elena Rybakina and the Sunshine Double. Kvitova hasn't won a WTA 1000 since triumphing in Madrid for a third time in 2018.
"I'm very happy for sure. I waited quite long to be in the final here. I'm happy I made it finally," Kvitova said after the match. "It was very difficult, so I'm very happy to get through and to have a chance to play the final tomorrow."
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How the match was won: Kvitova beat Cirstea in part by coming from behind to win the first set. Though she led the overall head-to-head against Cirstea 6-4, the Romanian entered the match with a 4-1 lead on hard courts, and she looked on course to continued that dominance on the surface in the opening set.
Each player saved a break point in her second service game of the set, and Cirstea needed four further chances in the sixth game to be the first player to break serve. Cirseta ultimately led 5-2 in the first set, but failed to convert on either of the two set points she had on serve at 5-4.
Turning point: Kvitova won 10 straight points from deuce at 5-4 in the opening set, and five straight games in all, to take the lead. She held serve from 0-30 to win the first set.
Ridiculous is an understatement 🤯 @Petra_Kvitova | #MiamiOpen pic.twitter.com/0hluMeGMPr— wta (@WTA) March 31, 2023
In the second set, Kvitova broke Cirstea in the opening game -- her third straight break in the match -- and never looked back. She lost just seven points in five service games in the second set.
Championship outlook: Kvitova and Rybakina have split two career meetings, both of which have been played in the last six months. Rybakina was victorious last fall in Ostrava, 7-6(5), 6-4, but Kvitova won 6-3, 7-5 in January in Adelaide.
"She's playing very good, winning Indian Wells, returning here in the final," Kvitova said. "For sure it's a great achievement.
"She's a big hitter, big server as well. I'm the same. It's depends really how we are gonna handle the pressure from the opponent."