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Petra Kvitova to play Agnieszka Radwanska for title at WTA Finals

The Guardian logo The Guardian 01-11-2015 Press Association
Petra Kvitova had won only one match in the round-robin stage but shocked Maria Sharapova in the semi-finals. © AP Petra Kvitova had won only one match in the round-robin stage but shocked Maria Sharapova in the semi-finals.

Petra Kvitova will bid for a second WTA Finals title on Sunday when she meets Agnieszka Radwanska in Singapore.

Kvitova, the two-times Wimbledon champion and 2011 WTA Finals winner, pulled off arguably the bigger win of the two in the semis as she beat Maria Sharapova 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) in under two hours. Radwanska had a marathon on court, fighting back from a set down to defeat Garbiñe Muguruza 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-5.

No matter the result on Sunday, it will be the end of Serena Williams’s three-year stranglehold on the WTA Finals crown, with Kvitova the last to win it before the world No1. While Sharapova had been in commanding form in the round-robin section of the tournament with three victories out of three, Kvitova edged through to the semi-finals having won only once. But it was Kvitova who started the stronger, clinching a break in the first set for a 4-3 lead that she did not relinquish.

Sharapova recovered to charge 5-1 ahead in the second only to see a fightback from Kvitova, who saved a set point and then broke to level at 5-5. Kvitova forced a tie-break, which the Czech won in comfort, 7-3.

“I didn’t expect this, for sure,” Kvitova said on wtatennis.com. “I had two losses in my group, and I couldn’t really believe I would play the semi-finals. I knew Maria would be strong today, but I knew I had the game to beat her, and that I really had to keep trying today.”

Poland’s Radwanska secured the 50th win of her season by beating Muguruza, who like Sharapova had come through unbeaten in the round-robin stage. Muguruza is having the best season of her career so far, having reached the Wimbledon final and then rising to world No3, and the 22-year-old Spaniard showed the skills to fight back and claim a topsy-turvy first set in the tie-break. Radwanska took the second set 6-3 and the momentum had shifted. Despite another Muguruza revival from 4-1 down in the third, Radwanska held her nerve to win 7-5.

Rafael Nadal reached the final of the Swiss Indoor tournament when he beat the Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 7-6 (9-7). Gasquet could still have denied David Ferrer a place in the ATP World Tour Finals this month, but his defeat means Ferrer, along with Japan’s Kei Nishikori, complete the eight-man lineup. Nadal will face either the top seed Roger Federer or the American Jack Sock in the final.

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