Kvitova ends Kerber's reign in Sydney

By Sports Desk January 10, 2019

Petra Kvitova ended Angelique Kerber's reign as Sydney International champion with a straight-sets quarter-final victory, while Alize Cornet is the only seed in the last four of the Hobart International. 

Kvitova and Kerber had claimed six wins apiece in their previous 12 meetings and it was the fifth seed who edged in front in the head-to-head with a 6-4 6-1 win on Thursday following frustrating rain delays.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova claimed five titles to return to the top 10 in the rankings last year and looks in good shape to make her presence felt at the Australian Open after toppling Kerber in impressive fashion.

Kerber claimed the first break after two early stoppages due to the weather, but Kvitova rallied to win four games in a row and take the opening set.

The Czech will take on qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the last four after breaking her fellow left-hander twice in the second set to seal a late-night victory at around 11.30pm local time.

Sasnovich also advanced in straight sets, seeing off Timea Bacsinszky 6-3 6-3.

Home hope Ashleigh Barty followed up her win over world number one Simona Halep by taking out 10th seed Elise Mertens 6-3 6-3 and will play seventh seed Kiki Bertens, who lost only four games in a defeat of Yulia Putintseva.

Sofia Kenin spoiled Kirsten Flipkens' 33rd birthday in Hobart, beating the seventh seed 7-5 7-5.

Kenin, who upset top seed Caroline Garcia in the first round, will come up against Cornet in the last four after the sixth seed saw off Greet Minnen 6-1 6-4.

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and Belinda Bencic will contest the other semi-final following straight-sets victories over Irina-Camelia Begu and Dayana Yastremska respectively.

Related items

  • Osaka completes stunning comeback in Melbourne Osaka completes stunning comeback in Melbourne

    US Open champion Naomi Osaka emerged from the jaws of defeat against Hsieh Su-wei to reach the Australian Open last 16.

    Japanese star Osaka was down a set and 4-1 in the second before rallying to a 5-7 6-4 6-1 win after almost two hours in Melbourne on Saturday.

    Osaka - aiming to become the first woman to win successive grand slams since Serena Williams claimed the 2014 US Open followed by the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in 2015 - appeared set to exit Melbourne Park.

    That was until the fourth seed, who was uncharacteristically frustrated and error-riddled in the first set, reeled off five successive games to force a decider and she never looked back.

    It was a high-energy encounter on Margaret Court Arena, where both players went toe-to-toe, with Hsieh refusing to take a back step to Osaka.

    The enthusiastic and aggressive Hsieh lost her way temporarily as Osaka reeled off four successive games with the end of the set looming, having been broken in the sixth game.

    Hsieh, however, stopped Osaka from serving out the first set - the 28th seed from Chinese Taipei frustrating her more fancied opponent as the unforced error count grew to 20 under the Melbourne sun.

    Consecutive sprayed forehands, a shot into the net and a wide backhand typified Osaka's set as Hsieh closed out the set.

    The usually calm and composed Osaka - who has never reached the Australian Open quarter-finals - threw her racquet at the end of the set, earning a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.

    Osaka had more to be upset about in the second set, falling 3-0 and 4-1 behind, but she suddenly clicked into gear and won five successive games to avoid elimination and 10 of the next 11 to earn a showdown with either Anastasija Sevastova or Wang Qiang.


    Osaka [4] bt Hsieh [28] 5-7 6-4 6-1

    Osaka - 41/42
    Hsieh - 28/31

    Osaka - 8/1
    Hsieh - 0/6

    Osaka - 7/11
    Hsieh - 4/15

    Osaka - 61
    Hsieh - 73

    Osaka - 63/51
    Hsieh - 59/33

    Osaka - 102
    Hsieh - 89

  • Nadal encourages patience in young stars after humbling De Minaur Nadal encourages patience in young stars after humbling De Minaur

    Rafael Nadal has promised the rising stars on the ATP Tour that their time will come, even as he, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic continue to dominate.

  • Cilic battles back to join Nadal, Federer in fourth round Cilic battles back to join Nadal, Federer in fourth round

    Marin Cilic produced a sensational comeback to beat Fernando Verdasco in five sets at the Australian Open on Friday.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.