13th time lucky for Petra Kvitova as she earns maiden semi-final spot

Petra Kvitova made history at the Miami Open as she reached her maiden semi-final at the 13th time of asking. After defeating 18th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova on Thursday in the final singles quarterfinal of the 2023 edition, Kvitova advanced to the Miami semifinals for the first time in her career. On Wednesday night, the two heavy hitters were scheduled to face off before the game was completely ruined by rain. Kvitova won the match after 2 hours and 12 minutes on a relatively dry afternoon to secure the final spot in the semifinal lineup.

“I have to say it was a tough one, for sure, especially mentally,” Kvitova said in her post-match press conference. “Ekaterina played amazing. I would say she was really striking the ball very clearly, and it was really difficult to face some serves of hers.”

“It means a lot, for sure,” Kvitova added. “It’s a big tournament. I’ve never been in the semifinal here, so it’s nice, especially when I played the quarterfinals in Indian Wells. So I’m happy that the momentum is there.” In her 99th WTA 1000 appearance, the Czech is in her 20th WTA 1000 semifinal of her career. She becomes the first left-handed player and one of just seven athletes to reach 20 or more WTA 1000 semifinals since the tier’s inception in 2009.

Kvitova saved a break point in the last game of the third set, holding for 4-3. From that point on, she fought back. Kvitova won the match by converting her second match point in the following game after she cracked a crosscourt forehand to force an error and break for 5-3. Ultimately, Kvitova’s lone extra break in the final set was the determining factor.

“I’m glad that my serve helped me in important moments, especially in the third set,” Kvitova said. “The chance for the break came. I took it, and yeah, it was very emotional in the end. I’m very happy that somehow I found a way to win it.”

Elena Rybakina into semis

Elena Ryabkina won her 12th straight match qualify for the semi-finals of the 2023 Miami Open on Tuesday. The reigning Wimbledon champion beat Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-0 in an utterly one-sided match. The Kazakh tennis player scored 10 aces and returned five out of nine break points in the match. She also recorded win percentages of 68% and 58% in the tie. Rybakina, who was also the champion at Indian Wells earlier this month, is well on her way to become the fifth woman to complete the sunshine double. Her record this season is 20-4, which is an incredible feat.

In order to get through the opening stages of her Miami campaign, Rybakina needed back-to-back three-set victories, including a victory over Paula Badosa in the third round that required saving a match point. Rybakina has developed a consistent rhythm since that time, defeating Elise Mertens 6-4, 6-3 in the Round of 16 and cruising past Trevisan in the quarterfinals.

Rybakina will face either World No.3 Jessica Pegula or Anastasia Potapova in the semifinals on Thursday. She defeated Aryna Sabalenka earlier this month to win the Indian Wells final and could face the Belarusian in the final of Miami yet again.

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