SYDNEY: French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova saved seven match points before beating Anett Kontaveit 0-6, 6-4, 7-6 (14-12) on Friday to advance to the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic, one of several warmup tournaments for next week’s Australian Open.
The fourth-ranked Kontaveit dominated early before Krejcikova, ranked third, took charge in the second and held on through the tiebreaker.
Kontaveit had three match points on Krejcikova’s serve when leading 6-5 in the third set but the Czech player defended all three, then held serve to force the tiebreaker.
Krejcikova earned two match points at 6-4 in the tiebreaker, but Kontaveit saved both. Krejcikova converted her fifth match point to seal the win.
Krejcikova will play Paula Badosa in Saturday’s final. The ninth-ranked Spaniard beat Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-2.
In the men’s semifinals in Sydney, Andy Murray reached his first ATP Tour final in more than two years by beating Reilly Opelka 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-4.
Murray set up a showdown with top-seeded Aslan Karatsev, who prevailed 6-3, 7-6 (15-13), 6-3 over Dan Evans.
Earlier, Alison Riske advanced to what will be an all-American final in Adelaide after semi-final opponent Tamara Zidansek withdrew. Riske will meet Madison Keys in Saturday’s final. Keys beat Coco Gauff 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.
In men’s play, Arthur Rinderknech advanced to his first ATP final with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Corentin Moutet. He will face in-form Australian wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis who reached his first ATP final in almost five years after battling fourth seed Marin Cilic 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (12-10).
Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2022