Wuhan - Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova powered into the final of the $2.4
million WTA Wuhan Open on Thursday, edging a step closer to a place in the
end of season championships in Singapore.
The world number three,
who could make next month's WTA Championships if she wins the inaugural
tournament, made the final at the expense of Elina Svitolina.
But it was another feisty performance from Svitolina who is ranked 31 places behind her Czech opponent.
broke serve in the sixth game to lead 4-2 in the first set, and
maintained her two game advantage to finish the opener 6-4.
The pair traded breaks in the second set and were 5-5 until Kvitova raced through the 11th game to serve for the match.
appeared to be poised for a straightforward win with the comfort of two
match points at 40-15, but Svitolina set up a tense end to the match by
clawing herself level and then forcing two double faults from Kvitova
which gave her break point.
But any hopes Svitolina had that her
opponent would lose the coolness that has been the trademark of her
march into the semis evaporated when Kvitova took two quick points to
win the match.
The Ukranian had showed great determination in
Wuhan, winning sets after coming back from 5-0 down against German
Sabine Lisicki in the second round and 4-1 down against world number
eight Angelique Kerber in the quarters.
But Kvitova proved to be a step to far for the 20-year-old.
Kvitova will join the top eight players for the Singapore finale if she claims victory in the climax of the tournament Saturday.
The 24-year-old will meet either world number nine Eugenie Bouchard or number seven Caroline Wozniacki.
Canadian Bouchard, the sixth seed in Wuhan, will play the eighth-seeded Wozniacki later Friday in their semi-final match.
The Wuhan Open in the central province of Hubei features the world's top 20 women players.
It is being held in the home city of recently-retired Chinese star Li Na for the first time.