Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pironkova and Kerber to meet in Sydney final

Qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova, already the surprise of the week in Sydney, has extended the surprise: In yesterday's semifinals, the Bulgarian player (known in some circles as The Pironkova, and perhaps appropriately so at the moment) defeated 2nd seed Petra Kvitova in straight sets. Pironkova served very well, though the rest of her game wasn't at the level she displayed in the quarterfinals. But an imploding Kvitova made it fairly easy for Pironkova (aka IWTM) to get her 6-4, 6-3, victory.

In this match, Pironkova relied more on her backhand, which is certainly the stronger of her choices. However, despite the fact that fans tend to criticize the Bulgarian's slicing forehand, she's won her share of points off of it in this tournament, and especially against Errani. As for Kvitova--she was sweating a lot and some rummaging around for her asthma inhaler during the changeovers.

This is Pironkova's very first final by the way. She'll face Angelique Kerber, who defeated Madison Keys in straight sets. In doubles, top seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci will play Timea Babos and Lucie Safarova in the final.

In Hobart, top seed Sam Stosur advanced to the semifinals with a win over Bojana Jovanovski. Also advancing were Klara Zakopalova and Estrella Cabeza Candela. The big win of the day came from Garbine Muguruza, who upset 2nd seed Kirsten Flipkens.


Doug said...

Overall, Kvitova has improved over last year, winning four matches in a row (Hopman Cup included) before succumbing to Tsvetana yesterday. Her lapses are far shorter and fewer. Until yesterday, there were no lapses, especially against Cornet, McHale and Safarova. Even with her breathing problems yesterday, she was stoic and was on the verge of turning it around, three break points to get back on serve late in the second. Her movement is the best that it has been in a long time. There is a little ray of hope there now. We all know what she can do.

sunny nine said...

Errani and Vinci have not been able to do anything so far on the singles route. After losing in the 1st rd the 1st week, they then had to play each. I wonder if Errani's admission after the USO is still with her i.e. that she wasn't enjoying playing or the pressure that goes with it. I also think that to play doubles at their level and hang in as top singles players might be getting to them.
I read that after the match Petra just sat for a long time on her chair. The way things had been going for her I thought, maybe,maybe the AO???? I can't comment on Pironkova--she comes out in the daylight only once in awhile.
I am happy for Stosur, she is not in Australia but pretty d*** close. :)

Diane said...

Sunny, I, too, think it's tough--these days, at least--to compete at the top in both singles and doubles. I don't know that Errani and Vinci get the respect they deserve.

Of course, it wasn't alwys this way, e.a., King and Casals, Navratilova and Shriver.