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Kvitova storms into Sydney final

In a match delayed by rain, Petra Kvitova arrived on Ken Rosewall Arena and made up for lost time, beating Aliaksandra Sasnovich in just 66 minutes to reach the final.
12 January 2019, by Matt Trollope

Petra Kvitova powered past Aliaksandra Sasnovich in a rain-delayed semifinal to set up a meeting in the Sydney International final with Ash Barty.

Kvitova needed just 66 minutes to see off the Belarusian, the 6-1 6-2 win sending her through to her second Sydney final after winning the title in 2015.

Seeded No.5 in Sydney, Kvitova lost her only previous meeting to Sasnovich in a shock first-round upset at Wimbledon six months ago.

But there was to be no repeat of that result this time around.

“It was worth the wait, definitely. I’m really glad that we were able to get back on the court and play,” Kvitova said.

“I’m happy for that, definitely, being in the final. Such a great achievement for me so far in the beginning of the season. So I’m only taking everything positively.

“I think I really played a great match today – I lost to her in Wimbledon last year, so I know that she’s a very dangerous player.”

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After hours of rain, Kvitova and Sasnovich commenced their match around 11.40pm, and the Czech appeared intent on making up for lost time.

She raced through the first set for the loss of just one game, and after some tight games at the beginning of the second, Kvitova rattled off fight straight to close it out at 12.45am local time.

She finished the match with 22 winners to just 13 unforced errors while winning more than 80 per cent of points behind her first serve.

It was the second late-night match Kvitova was forced to win after a rain delay; in the quarterfinals she overwhelmed defending champion Angelique Kerber for the loss of just five games.

She hasn’t dropped a set all week in Sydney.

“Ash is great … she’s very talented player with great touch. It will be a nice one tomorrow, it’s a final, so whatever happens, happens,” Kvitova said.

“I think she’s really in good form, she’s playing so well here in the tournament as well. Will be a nice one.

“I will need to find a space to put the balls and I can just play aggressive, that’s what I’m playing.”

Kvitova has won both her previous meetings with Barty, the most recent coming in three sets in the grass-court final at Birmingham in 2017.