The No.15 seeded Petra Kvitova reached the Miami Open semifinals for the first time in her career after a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 triumph against No.18 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova on Thursday. Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, was in her fourth Miami quarterfinal, but up until Thursday, she had never advanced past that round.
Strong forehands from Kvitova gave her an early break in the first set, and on her third set point, she converted an ace to seal the victory. However, Alexandrova improved in the second set, hitting numerous smashes on the line and breaking the tiebreaker with a spectacular backhand crosscourt service return. From that point on, Alexandrova held on to square the match at one set apiece.
Kvitova saved a break point in the decisive game of the third set, holding for 4-3. From that moment on, she fought back. Kvitova won the match by converting her second match point in the following game as she cracked a crosscourt forehand to force a mistake and break for 5-3. Both players had an equal number of winners and unforced errors. Kvitova made 19 unforced errors while Alexandrova had 26 wins to 26 unforced errors. In the end, Kvitova’s only additional break in the decisive set proved to be the difference maker that propelled her to victory.
Kvitova’s semifinal opponent will be a familiar foe: Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, who earned her career-best win by ranking on Wednesday when she shocked World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinals. “I have to say it was a tough one, for sure, especially mentally. 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,” Kvitova said in her postmatch press conference.
“It means a lot, for sure. 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,” Kvitova said. “I’m glad that my serve helped me in important moments, especially in the third set. 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,” she said.
Talking about her upcoming clash against Cirstea, Kvitova said, “It’s nice to be playing somebody who is in as good form as me, so it will be a great matchup, for sure. We played a few battles already during our years. We practiced here before the tournament started as well.” “It’s kind of nice, I have to say, that somebody [else] over 30 as well is playing so nice. It’s nice, it’s fun. I’m happy for Sorana, how she’s playing, with the run she has. Definitely would be nice to face her again,” she added.