By Ros Satar in Cincinnati

  • Petra Kvitova [8] def. Elise Mertens [15] 7-5 5-7 6-3
  • Will face Kiki Bertens in the semi-final
CINCINNATI, USA – Petra Kvitova continued her solid performance at Cincinnati she reached a second semi-final at the Western & Southern Open.

 

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Petra Kvitova [8] def. Elise Mertens [15] 7-5 5-7 6-3

Former semi-finalist at the Western & Southern Open, Petra Kvitova had to battle her way past Elise Mertens as a packed schedule got caught up after rain delays. Kvitova had emerged unscathed from the chaos which saw Thursday痴 night session completely cancelled with day session matches carrying on late into the evening after a day of almost constant rain.

Elise Mertens in the quarter-final of the Western & Southern Open, WTA Cincinnati 2018

Elise Mertens in the quarter-final of the Western & Southern Open, WTA Cincinnati 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

While three of the round three matches were still to be completed, Kvitova, who had been first into the quarter-finals, looked to be proceeding business as usual, as she jumped out to a 5-1 lead over Mertens before the Belgian worked her way back into the match to draw level at 5-5.

Mertens struck back just as decisively with a 4-1 lead at the start of the second set and this time it was Kvitova’s turn to peg that deficit back but to no avail as Mertens struck for home to level the match.

That momentum stayed with Mertens at the start of the second set with a break in the first game of the decider before Kvitova broke her twice in succession. Mertens struck back with another break, but Kvitova dug deep for one more decisive break before closing out a spot in her second semi-final in Cincinnati.

Kvitova said, after the match: “I knew that Elise is playing really well. I think she won four titles this year or something like that. Definitely she’s a tough opponent. And when I gave her time and I didn’t really play that aggressive, she was just going for that. I was the second player on the court, which I didn’t want.

“I didn’t really serve well, but luckily I did have good second serve, which was very important for me to put it back to the court and play some rallies. I really need to play more aggressive. That’s how I made those important points, and I think that my forehand down the line worked pretty well afterwards in the third set.”

 

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‘You always want more’

She admitted after the match that since her return, which had acted as a huge motivation for her, she was not satisfied with her successes on tour. Since the attack that almost ended her career at the end of 2016, she has won back to back titles in Birmingham, and this year alone she won St Petersburg and Doha, Prague and Madrid – both back to back.

Kvitova continued: “Unfortunately then the sad thing happened and I was very hungry to just come back and play tennis. That was probably the biggest motivation I ever have in myself. So I was really putting a lot of energy to that.

“And now I have been playing and I’m hungry to do well again, so I’m not satisfied at all. Even doesn’t matter what’s happening in life, but probably we are not always, like, we are not satisfied. It’s kind of mental side of athletes and of the people who really want more and more. So if you reach some stage, you always want more, which is same case with me.”

 

Kiki Bertens in the second round of the Western & Southern Open, WTA Cincinnati 2018

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action during her second-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

She will face Kiki Bertens in the semi-final. They had a memorable final in Madrid, as Kvitova claimed a third title but the Dutchwoman got the better of her in Montreal in their most recent clash.

Kvitova said: “She improved a lot. I don’t know which kind of side of her game she improve the match, but overall she’s serving big, and of course when we are serving better, then we are making a little bit easier points and it’s just tough to break.

“But definitely, I mean, it’s one of those players who really get improved a lot the season.”

Kvitova and Bertens are scheduled on Centre Court at 12pm (5pm BST).

 

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