MIAMI (Reuters) - Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro scored a clinical 6-3 6-3 upset of German ninth seed Andrea Petkovic on Thursday to reach the final of the Miami Open.
The victory marked a day of firsts for Navarro who advanced to her maiden final in a premier-level event and will make her top-10 debut on Monday when the world rankings are released.
“Normally all the tennis players want to be number one but the first step is be in top 100 and top 50, then top 20, top 10, and you never know,” said Navarro, whose run to the final has also included wins over former champions Venus Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska. “But I want to be number one.”
Navarro, the first Spanish women to reach the top 10 since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 2001, will next face the winner of Thursday’s other semi-final between seven-times Miami champion Serena Williams and third seed Simona Halep.
The 12th seeded Navarro delivered a master class on a sun-kissed stadium court surrendering just 12 points on her serve the entire match while never facing a break point.
Petkovic, through to the last four in Miami for the second consecutive year, was broken twice in the opening en route to dropping her first set in Miami this year.
Navarro, forced to quit the final against Petkovic in Antwerp earlier this year due to a neck injury, grabbed the decisive break in the sixth game of the second set when Petkovic drove a forehand into the net to fall behind 4-2.
The Spaniard then held serve to close out the contest in 87 minutes.
“I tried to fight myself into the match but there were just so many unforced errors from my side,” said Petkovic. “You’re not going to win a match at that level at that stage of a tournament with so many unforced errors.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue