Petkovic sets up final date with Cepelova

Petkovic sets up final date with Cepelova
Bosnian-born German Andrea Petkovic outlasted rising Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard in a Family Circle Cup semifinal on Saturday to earn a spot in a WTA final for the eighth time.

“It's funny how destiny plays, but reaching a final of a big tournament here in South Carolina where my father went to college is an honour, and it's nice,” Petkovic told The Post and Courier after outlasting Bouchard 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 in a high-standard match on the green clay at Charleston, South Carolina.

Petkovic, seeded 14th, will meet Jana Cepelova in the final on Sunday, after the unseeded Slovakian edged Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5).

It will be the first WTA final for 20-year-old Cepelova, who continued her dream run after knocking out Serena Williams in the second round.
 
Petkovic, 26, was once ranked among the top 10 in the world but multiple injuries interrupted her career.
 
Now healthy again, she shed tears of joy after Bouchard blasted a forehand over the baseline to end the match.
 
The pair could hardly have been more evenly matched, with Petkovic winning 102 points and Bouchard 101 as both players displayed dominating forehands.
 
Bouchard had the upper hand in the deciding set after breaking in the fifth game and then holding serve to go 4-2 up, but Petkovic quickly broke back to level it.
 
Petkovic had a match point in the 10th game on Bouchard’s serve, but was unable to convert. It proved, however, merely a stay for crowd-favorite Bouchard, who reached the Australian Open semis in January.

Cepelova and Bencic were also evenly matched, as both players broke five times in a match that stretched for two hours, 33 minutes. 
 
Bencic was up 4-1 in the tiebreak but Cepelova came through in the clutch.
 
“It was a really tough match,” Cepelova said. “I had match point at 5-4 when she was serving, and it was really hard for me to stay focused and stay in the game after I missed that, as well as two more match points in the tie-break. But I just tried to keep fighting and I’m so happy I made it today.”
 
While Cepelova had never even been to the semifinals of a WTA event before this week, Petkovic has the edge in terms of experience -- the former World No 9 is in her eighth WTA final, going 2-5 in the first seven. 
 
Ivanovic shines

Ana Ivanovic won the battle of former World No 1s, edging past Caroline Wozniacki 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 to reach the final of the Abierto Monterrey Open in Mexico on Saturday.
 
“It was a great match tonight,” Ivanovic said. “I played really well, especially in the beginning of the second set. We've had very close matches in the past, so it was really a treat to win tonight. Caroline was really striking the ball well.”
 
In the title clash on Sunday, Ivanovic will face fellow Serb Jovana Jaksic, who overcame veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-7(5-7), 6-4, 6-4.

Date-Krumm was two games from winning in both the second and third sets, but Jaksic -- and her 11 aces --  came out on top. 

“Kimiko is a great player and it was an amazing match,” said a delighted Jaksic. 
 
“I gave my best and I really enjoyed it -- I hope everyone enjoyed it because there were so many good points. I just tried to keep believing in myself and fight to the end. I really respect Kimiko. I was proud to be a part of that.

“And I'm super excited to be in the finals!”
 
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