Kvitova upsets Halep to close on second Wuhan Open title

Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:18am EDT
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(Reuters) - Czech Petra Kvitova romped to a 6-1 6-2 victory over world number five Simona Halep in the Wuhan Open semi-finals on Friday to move a step closer to winning the tournament for the second time.

In-form Kvitova, who won the title in 2014, will meet Dominika Cibulkova in the final on Saturday after the Slovak beat Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Despite making 16 unforced errors, 14th seed Kvitova, who knocked out German world number one Angelique Kerber in the last 16, hit 34 winners to crush Romanian fourth seed Halep in just over an hour.

"It's amazing. I came to this tournament and really didn't expect this kind of performance," Kvitova told reporters.

"Physically I'm still so-so - I'm really happy that I'm not falling apart."

Cibulkova's path to the final has been far less straightforward as the 10th seed played two matches on Thursday.

"It feels great. I'm really tired right now, but the feeling to be in the final is unbelievable," Cibulkova said.

Cibulkova also boosted her hopes of reaching the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore for the first time. Victory over Kvitova would lift her above Spain's Garbine Muguruza into sixth place in the rankings.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

Tennis - Wuhan Open Women's Singles semifinal - Wuhan, Hubei Province, China - 30/9/16.  Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic plays against Simona Halep of Romania. REUTERS/Darley Shen