By Chris Oddo/ Friday, October 25, 2013
Petra Kvitova edged Angelique Kerber in three sets to reach the semis in Istanbul, where she will face Li Na next.
Photo Source: AP
In typical fashion, Petra Kvitova went the distance on Friday. And once again, she emerged victorious.
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The 23-year-old defeated Angelique Kerber, 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4, winning her 25th three-set decision of 2013, which is the most this century in the WTA.
“I'm a little bit tired right now,” Kvitova said with a smile after the match.
She should be. Her 37th three-set match is the most on the WTA Tour this century. Kvitova entered the match tied with Patty Schnyder, who played 36 three-setters in 2005.
Her last three meetings with Kerber had gone the distance, and after the German snuck the first set in a tiebreaker, a fourth felt inevitable.
After falling down a break in the first set, Kerber climbed back from 4-1 down to force a tiebreaker. The German, attempting to reach her first semifinal in Istanbul, took the tiebreaker, thanks to some loose play from Kvitova.
“I think she tried to play more aggressive and I did some easy mistakes, that was the difference,” Kvitova said.
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True to form, Kvitova rallied to take the second set, claiming two breaks of serve while saving the two break points she faced.
In the third set, after three straight breaks opened the set, Kvitova held for 3-1.
Margins remained thin, but Kvitova held after being pushed to deuce at 4-4, then clinched the match with her third break of the game as a Kerber backhand sailed long on Kvitova's first match point.
The victory marks the 10th time that the Czech has come back from a set down for a victory in 2013. Her record in three-set matches improves to 25-12.
Kvitova, the 2011 champion at Istanbul, will face Li Na in Saturday's semifinals.
“She's a good friend of mine, and it's always great to play her,” Kvitova said. “It's always very tough and big fight.”
Li and Kvitova have split six career matches, with Kvitova winning their last meeting in Beijing in three sets.