Germany’s Angelique Kerber extended her winning streak to 11 matches with a three-sets win over Caroline Wozniacki to win Stuttgart’s WTA tournament in Sunday’s final.
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Having knocked out previous champion Maria Sharapova in the second round, Kerber recovered from losing the first set to earn a 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory over former world number one Wozniacki.
Since winning the Charleston tournament a fortnight ago, Kerber carried her impressive form onto Stuttgart’s clay courts. Her win over Sharapova was the first time the Russian had tasted defeat in Stuttgart in her fourth tournament here.
The first set of Sunday’s final was all Wozniacki, who broke Kerber in the fourth game then held her serve to take a 4-1 lead before the set was eventually served out.
— WTA (@WTA) April 26, 2015
The German rallied to control the second, blasting her way out to a 3-0 lead before breaking the former world number one in the sixth game for a 5-1 lead to serve out the set.
Both players traded breaks in the third before Wozniacki looked to be heading for her second tournament victory of 2015 at 5-3.
But Kerber made her shots count and with the Dane under immense pressure on the base line, Wozniacki was broken in the ninth and 11th games to give the German victory in just over two hours.
— WTA (@WTA) April 26, 2015
Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber reached the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix final after beating their opponents Simona Halep and Madison Brengle respectively.
Reigning champion Kei Nishikori booked his place in the Barcelona Open final with a 6-1, 6-2 thrashing of Slovakia’s Martin Klizan on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Japanese will face Spain’s Pablo Andujar in Sunday’s final after he upset compatriot David Ferrer 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.
Klizan had won the only previous meeting between the two in a shock straight sets win over an injured Nishikori at last year’s French Open.
However, there was never any danger of a repeat in the Catalan capital as the world number five romped through the first set in just 28 minutes.
Klizan offered some more resistance at the start of the second set as he held onto his serve in a marathon opening game that included eight deuces.
Nishikori, though, won the next five games to take him to the brink of victory before serving it out comfortably.
— ATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) April 25, 2015
“I played very well and I am happy, but if I want to win the final tomorrow I need to maintain my concentration and not commit errors,” said Nishikori.
“Andujar beat me two years ago in Madrid.”
The other semi-final was much more tightly fought as Andujar produced what he admitted to being some of the best tennis of his career to beat Ferrer for the first time.
“This is one of the best games I have played in my career,” said the world number 66.
“I knew that David is a very solid player from the baseline and it is very difficult to compete with him from there, so I tried to pressure his second serve and come to the net when I could.
“In the end it was a combination of me playing well and him making some mistakes at the start of the second set.”
Ferrer twice fought back from a break down in the first set before 29-year-old Andujar edged it in the tie-break, but serve was much more dominant in the second as one early break was all Andujar needed to serve it out.
Amazing Andujar 102-150 in career matches on ATP not sure why he has had so many up and downs, looks like such a solid player
— Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) April 25, 2015
And he called on the crowd in Barcelona to produce a Davis Cup style atmosphere to inspire him to another upset in the final.
“I am inspired. I think I have worked hard and in the end things are going very well, and there is no better place than here in Barcelona surrounded by my people.
“I hope it will be like a Davis Cup atmosphere. I hope the fans give everything tomorrow. I need them because Nishikori is playing very well.”