Petra Kvitova battled back from a set deficit to defeat Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 6-4 in the Miami Open semi-finals and set up a showdown with Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina. The two veterans fought hard in the opening set, with Cirstea taking a 5-2 lead before Kvitova broke twice to level the set at 5-5. The Czech then won the next two games to steal the set 7-5. Kvitova’s momentum carried over into the second set as she broke Cirstea in the opening game and never looked back. Despite a late charge from Cirstea, Kvitova held on to win the match and advance to her first Miami Open final.
Cirstea, who was playing in her first WTA semi-final in a decade, showed signs of a potential upset as she took a commanding lead in the first set. However, she failed to convert on two set points at 5-4, allowing Kvitova to break twice and take the set. Kvitova’s strong serving and powerful groundstrokes were too much for Cirstea to handle, as the Czech lost just seven points in five service games in the second set.
Kvitova’s victory sets up a highly anticipated final against Rybakina, who has been one of the form players on the WTA Tour this season. The Kazakhstan player has reached the final of the Australian Open and won the Indian Wells tournament. Kvitova, however, is confident that she can spring a surprise and upset Rybakina in the final.
“I feel great to be in the final, that’s the most important thing for me,” Kvitova told Amazon Prime. “We have head-to-head 1-1, so we’ll see how we’re going to go tomorrow [in Saturday’s final]. Elena is playing amazing, I can just surprise right? Who knows.”
The final will be Kvitova’s first of the season and her first in Miami in her career. The Czech has the chance to win her ninth career WTA 1000 title, her first since triumphing in Madrid in 2018. Kvitova and Rybakina have met twice previously, with each player winning one match.
Cirstea, who has been enjoying a resurgence in form under coach Thomas Johansson, was disappointed to lose but reflected positively on her “Sunshine Swing” campaign. “Of course, I’m a bit sad about today because I felt I had my chances but again I’m leaving the US with a smile on my face and with a lot of things to improve as well,” she said.
Overall, Kvitova’s victory over Cirstea was a hard-fought battle between two experienced players, and sets up an exciting final against Rybakina. With both players in top form, the match promises to be a thrilling contest between two of the best players on the WTA Tour.