Thursday, 21 February 2013

Dubai Semi-Finals (Kvitova vs Wozniacki; Errani vs Vinci)

Withdrawal of Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams opened the otherwise jam-packed Dubai draw. The upper half was left more open compared to the lower half where there still is Petra Kvitova, who has been rounding to the form that took her to the Wimbledon title in 2011.

The players taking advantage of the opportunity were Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, the doubles no.1 pair in the world and best friends.

Roberta Vinci was the first to make her move to the semi-finals of Dubai, when she beat Samantha Stosur 62 64. In doing so, Vinci not only made the biggest semi-final of her career, she also beat two top 10 players  for the first time in the same tournament.

Sara Errani followed in the foot-steps of her friend Roberta Vinci, to set up an all Italian semi-final. Vinci moved ahead in the first set 5-1, before Nadia Petrova caught fire and and brought the score to 5-4 but Errani held her serve to win the first set. The second set was all about Petrova who bagled Errani winning the set 6-0, but immediately got broken to start the 3rd set. Errors crept into Errani's game as she could not hold her serve and was broken back to level the set. However, Errani once again broke to move ahead 4-2 in the decider. Petrova had 3 break point chances when Errani served at 4-3, but could not capitalise on them and from then on it was all Errani as she defeated Nadia Petrova 64 06 63 to set up a clash against her friend Roberta Vinci.

Caroline Wozniacki carried 5-2 head to head lead into her match against Marion Bartoli, and won the match in 3 sets 46 61 64. Bartoli was undone by her more than a dozen double faults. The match featured some high quality tennis. Wozniacki and Bartoli both got warnings, Wozniacki got warning for coaching from the stands by her father, while Bartoli got warning for being slow in serving. However, in the end Wozniacki's defensive abilities got the better of Bartoli as she moved to her 3rd Dubai semi-final.

The day was concluded with Petra Kvitova winning in straight sets against the defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska, 62 64. Petra Kvitova has finally found the form that took her to within a striking distance of the world no.1 ranking. Petra Kvitova will face Caroline Wozniacki for a spot in the final.

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