Nadia Petrova was too good for Maria Kirilenko tonight, defeating her 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 in their Cincinnati semifinal. The tournament's second seed, Petrova will face unseeded Nathalie Dechy in the final tomorrow. Dechy is one of the tour's significant under-achievers, and her situation was not helped when she was out a long time with an injury a couple of years ago. This is a chance for her to do something she has done only once before--win a singles title. Yes, though it may seem hard to believe, Dechy has won only one tournament--Gold Coast in 2003. That is somewhat of a puzzle.
For her part, Petrova (who was once considered the most promising of all the Russians) went on a hot streak in 2006, literally slipped from it, and has never come back. The talent is there, however.
The Cincinnati tournament, a Tier III, is not part of the U.S. Open Series. However, this year it attracted a number of excellent players, including two--Dechy and Kirilenko--who have lovely and fluid games I especially enjoying watching.