Wozniacki to face Petrova in Sofia final
SOFIA (AFP) –
Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki will face Russian Nadia Petrova in the final of the season-ending $750,000 Tournament of Champions at Sofia’s Arena Armeec hall on Sunday after both came through Saturday’s semis.
Top seed and former No. 1 Wozniacki defeated eighth-seeded home favourite Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-1 in one hr 33min.
By making it to the final, Wozniacki also clinched an end of year top ten ranking, moving up from her current 11th spot above Marion Bartoli of France, who is not competing here.
The versatile Pironkova put up a tough fight for Wozniacki early on, letting the Dane convert only one of her four break points in the first set. Wozniacki, however, took full control of the ball in the second, breaking Pironkova’s serve twice and easily winning all her own service games.
Second-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova defeated fourth-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci 6-7 (8/10), 6-1, 6-4 in 2hr 42min.
Vinci’s varied rhythm with strong backhand slices surprised Petrova, resulting in a very evenly-contested first set. The Italian managed to compensate a very low rate of successful first services, 36 percent, and did not lose a service game. Petrova, however, managed to save all five of Vinci’s breakpoints.
The Russian regained control in the second set against a visibly exhausted Vinci, breaking her service twice to romp to one set-all.
Vinci got back into the match in the decider, struggling hard to win her games by saving five break points until she finally let the Russian break her in the ninth game.
Vinci then missed a chance to break back and the Russian secured the match with an ace, her eighth.
In reaching the final, Petrova pushes Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic out of 12th spot in the rankings.
The Tournament of Champions featured the six highest-ranked players who have won a title during the season but did not qualify for the WTA Championships, along with two wild cards.
It is the final event of the WTA calendar.