WTA Tour

Kvitova beats Barty to set up Doha final with Sabalenka

Petra Kvitova (AFP)
Petra Kvitova (AFP)

Doha - Petra Kvitova battled past world No 1 Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 on Friday to set up a Qatar Open final against Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.

The two-time Wimbledon winner overcame a second-set blip to reach the 37th WTA final of her career and her second in Doha, where she won the 2018 title.

Kvitova ended a run of four straight defeats by Barty, including in the Australian Open quarter-finals earlier this year.

"I did have chances in the last meetings with her as well, but today I was just maybe braver and that's how it is," Kvitova told wtatennis.com.

It will be Kvitova's first final since April last year in Stuttgart.

The 29-year-old Czech, ranked 11th in the world, is chasing a 28th tour title, having lost only nine finals.

"I always bring something else in the finals and I just love playing finals," said Kvitova.

"That's why I'm playing tennis, for those trophies, and playing a final is something like that, you are very close to have the title, but it's still very far."

She struggled for rhythm in the second set after dominating the first, but managed to clinch the crucial break in the seventh game of the decider.

"I think Ash started to play more slices in the beginning of the second set, so it took me a while to get to used to (it) and be back in my game with my aggressive game, which I tried to play in the first set," Kvitova added.

Australia's Barty has now lost in back-to-back semi-finals after her last-four loss to eventual champion Sofia Kenin in Melbourne.

"It's been a very positive week, it really has, and tonight was no different. It was an exceptional match," said the reigning French Open champion.

"Obviously you look at a match and you debrief it, but I think (it was) another really great contest with Petra."

Earlier on Friday, Sabalenka dispatched Russian veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-3.

Ninth seed Sabalenka broke former two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova four times as she reached a 10th career WTA final - her first of the 2020 season.

"I'm really happy with the level I'm playing right now and well, we'll see what's going to happen tomorrow, but for sure I will bring everything I have," said the 21-year-old.

Sabalenka has won five WTA titles despite never having reached a Grand Slam quarter-final.

Results from the WTA tournament in Doha on Friday (x denotes seeding):


Petra Kvitova (CZE x8) bt Ashleigh Barty (AUS x1) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x9) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 6-4, 6-3

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Bangladesh 64/2
West Indies 122/10
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
41% - 11366 votes
12% - 3268 votes
19% - 5116 votes
2% - 683 votes
1% - 268 votes
2% - 635 votes
5% - 1405 votes
8% - 2326 votes
3% - 919 votes
Water sports
1% - 244 votes
American sports
1% - 333 votes
3% - 893 votes