Kvitova books final date with Kerber in Tokyo

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Petra Kvitova ended the run of a resurgent Venus Williams at the Pan Pacific Open on Friday, winning a high-octane shootout 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 to reach the final of the $2.3 million event, where she will face fellow “lefty” Angelique Kerber.
The German Kerber had too much firepower for Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki, the fifth seed beating the former world number one 6-2, 7-6 to reach her seventh career final.
Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion from the Czech Republic, repelled everything Venus threw at her in a pulsating Tokyo semi-final, the seventh seed holding her nerve to tear through the deciding tiebreak 7-2 and complete victory in two hours, 24 minutes.
“That was definitely one of my best matches of the season,” Kvitova said. “I knew she would attack and I had a little trouble so I just tried to do the same to her.”
A see-saw match which began in bright sunshine with Venus in the ascendancy caught fire in the second set.
Kvitova began ripping winners past the former world number one, who took the rare step of calling hitting partner David Witt to her chair for a pow-wow after being pegged back to a set-all.
But Kvitova refused to buckle, finding the sweet spot repeatedly — to the frustration of the seven-times grand slam singles champion, whose ranking has plummeted to 63rd in the world after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder in 2011.
“I guess I was a little tired,” sighed Venus. “But she played an amazing tiebreak.”

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