Pironkova reaches first WTA final

Jan. 9, 2014 at 7:23 AM
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SYDNEY, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Tsvetana Pironkova ousted No. 2-seeded Petra Kvitova at the Apia International Sydney Thursday and advanced to her first WTA final.

Pironkova entered Thursday's match 0-3 lifetime versus Kvitova and 0-7 in WTA semifinals but came away with a decisive 6-4, 6-3 win. She had two breaks in the first set and four in the second.

She broke open a tight match by taking six of seven games in building a 6-4, 4-1 lead. Kvitova got back to within 4-3, 15-40 but Pironkova reeled off eight straight points for the win.

Pironkova is the first qualifier to reach the women's finals at the Apia International. After a second-round win over world No. 7 Sara Errani and Thursday's victory over Kvitova, ranked sixth, Pironkova draws a third consecutive Top 10 player in No. 9 Angelique Kerber for the final.

Kerber, seeded fifth, claimed the other spot in the title match with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Madison Keys. Kerber went 5-of-5 in break opportunities. She won 62 percent of the points on serve and 56 percent when Keys served.

While Pironkova is in her first WTA final, Kerber will be appearing in her ninth. She's won three WTA titles, including last year in Austria. The finalists are 1-1 against each other.

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