Wuhan: Dominika Cibulkova completed her arduous journey to the WTA Wuhan Open tennis final with a thrilling victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova here on Friday.
The Slovak will meet two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the final as the Czech broke Romanian Simona Halep’s serves twice in each set to seal an easy victory 6-1, 6-2 in just one hour and six minutes, reports Efe.
In a three-set semifinal, which lasted over two-and-half hours, Cibulkova added the finishing touch to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over the Russian former US Open champion by thumping a backhand onto the baseline.
“It feels great. I’m really tired right now, but the feeling to be in the final is unbelievable, and that’s why I love it. It’s just a great win for me today,” Cibulkova said.
“I would say that nothing has been easy here. I’ve had really tough matches from the first round so you don’t expect anything easy from this tournament. I’m really looking forward to another final and I want to keep going, keep playing like this,” Cibulkova added.
Outthought and outfought in the first set, Cibulkova rallied back at the start of the second. Her change of tack reaped immediate dividends, pulling off a trademark drive volley along with a couple of perfectly executed drop shots to break in the opening game.
While this advantage did not last for long, the tide was turning, Cibulkova taking four of the last five games to force a decider.
With the contest in the balance, Cibulkova somehow managed to summon her best tennis. She finished a series of energy sapping points with spectacular winners to edge ahead.
This sequence seemed to drain the belief from Kuznetsova, who soon found herself staring at three match points. Only one was required, Cibulkova pouncing on an inviting serve to reach her fifth final of the season.