Petra Kvitova stands between Elena Rybakina and the Sunshine Double

James Richardson
Elena Rybakina Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova surged into the Miami Open final with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Sorana Cirstea and now stands between Elena Rybakina and the Sunshine Double.

Earlier, Rybakina reached the final by beating American world number three Jessica Pegula 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.

She is out to become just the fifth woman to complete the Sunshine Double having avenged her Australian Open final defeat at Indian Wells.

Rybakina admitted that she didn’t think she would reach another championship match after her exertions in the California desert.

“No,” the 23-year-old told reporters after her match.

“I didn’t expect to be in the final. I knew that it’s going to be very tough from the beginning, from the first match. And it was, actually. I was just trying to play one match at a time and focus and push myself and fight till the end. So even when I was down, I was still trying to find a way.”

Meanwhile, Kvitova hasn’t won a WTA 1000 since triumphing in Madrid for the third time back in 2018.

“I’m very happy for sure. I waited quite long to be in the final here. I’m happy I made it finally,” Kvitova said after the match. “It was very difficult, so I’m very happy to get through and to have a chance to play the final tomorrow.”

Kvitova has backed herself to go toe-to-toe with Rybakina.

“She’s playing very good, winning Indian Wells, returning here in the final,” Kvitova said. “For sure it’s a great achievement.

“She’s a big hitter, big server as well. I’m the same. It’s depends really how we are gonna handle the pressure from the opponent.”

Rybakina has served double-digit aces in each of her five matches in Miami and has survived times when his first serve has faltered.

Her all-around game is under-rated, largely because of the fact that her serve is such a big part of her arsenal.

Kvitova and Rybakina have split their only two career meetings to date, both of which have been played in the last six months.

Rybakina came out victorious last fall in her home event in Ostrava, 7-6(5), 6-4, but Kvitova won 6-3, 7-5 in January in Adelaide.

In a prospective battle of big serves, it is worth noting that Rybakina is now 7-0 in tiebreaks this season.

Kvitova has a huge advantage in experience as she prepares for her 267th match as WTA 1000 level and her 13th championship match at this level.

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