We will have an all-Czech affair at the Apia International Sydney, as Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova defeated last year’s finalists and will now face each other in the fight for the Premier-level title and $124,000 in prize money.
The 22nd-ranked Pliskova was the first to advance, as she bulldozed tired fifth seed Angelique Kerber, last year’s runner-up, whose all previous matches this week were three-setters in each of which she had to come back from a set down (remember that her second-round match even ended past 3 a.m. local time, while in her quarterfinals she was bageled in the first set). Pliskova’s 6-3 6-2 victory came in just 55 minutes.
In the repeat Sydney semifinal from last year, the second-seeded Kvitova avenged last year’s loss, dispatching defending champion Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 7-5 6-1, who scandalously had to go through the qualifying this year, just like last year, despite being the reigning champion. Imagine, tournament organizers were not willing to give her a wildcard! They really treasure their champions…
The two Czechs have met once so far, very recently, at the Wuhan Open last fall, and Kvitova won 6-3 2-6 6-4. (photos: Jimmie48)