Cincinnati Masters: Kvitova outlasts Keys to face Garcia in finals

Kvitova outlasted Keys 6-7 (6) 6-4 6-3 to reach the Western and Southern Open final. World No.28 Kvitova of the Czech Republic took two hours and 18 minutes to outlast American Keys.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova

CINCINNATI: Petra Kvitova moved into the Western and Southern Open final for the first time in her career after overcoming 2019 champion Madison Keys in the Saturday semifinal clash.

Kvitova outlasted Keys 6-7 (6) 6-4 6-3 to reach the Western and Southern Open final. World No.28 Kvitova of the Czech Republic took two hours and 18 minutes to outlast American Keys.

After barely dropping the first-set tiebreak, Kvitova rallied to take another Cincinnati victory over Keys and edge ahead in their rivalry. It is the Czech's first win in a Western and Southern Open semifinal, having previously lost in this round in 2012 and 2018.

"It was an incredible battle. I have to say Madison played a really great match. It was a really, really tight one," Kvitova said in her post-match press conference.

"This is very special, to be honest. I was going to the match today, and I was telling myself that I have never been in the final here. ... I had many, many finals but never here. So finally it's here. Actually, who knows how it will end tomorrow, but this is already a big step for me," she added.

Another finalist of the Western and Southern Open, Caroline Garcia notched her third Top 10 win of the week, beating No.7 Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 to become the first qualifier to ever advance to the final of a WTA 1000 tournament. Garcia completed the match with 24 winners to 18 unforced errors, breaking Sabalenka six times.

Sabalenka tallied 16 winners to 32 unforced errors, breaking Garcia three times. "I guess no one expected it, that's for sure. It's a long way to come from qualities," WTA quoted Garcia as saying.

"First, to be in the final of a 1000 event after so many years, and the scenario of today was just unbelievable," Garcia said. "We had to stop a few times. We never know when we will come back. It was a long wait, and in the wait, you never know what you are supposed to do, so it was tough," she said.

"I'm very happy with the last preparation for the comeback at 3-1. I was really ready for every point. It made the difference," Garcia further added.

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