2019 Australian Open: Petra Kvitova routs Danielle Collins to reach the final
Kvitova celebrates winning her Australian Open semifinal/Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

2019 Australian Open: Petra Kvitova routs Danielle Collins to reach the final

The Czech won nine of the last 11 games over the upstart American to reach her third career major final.

john-lupo
John Lupo

Petra Kvitova and Danielle Collins began their Australian Open semifinal with the roof at Rod Laver Arena under a blazing sun with temperatures over 100 degrees.

For eight games, the American went toe-to-toe with the eighth seed until the roof was closed. From there, Kvitova took charge, dropping just two more games in the match to book her spot in the final.

The Czech will face reigning U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka in Saturday's final with the winner taking their first career title in Melbourne as well as becoming the new #1 player in the world.

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Kvitova claims first set tiebreaker after roof is closed midway through set

The early advantage would seem to have been with the underdog Collins as Kvitova is known to struggle in the heat and in the fifth game, she was broken after the American hit a cross court backhand on an extremely short angle which the Czech returned long.

The eighth seed would respond with an immediate break back and after each woman held, the decision to close the roof was made. With the conditions changing, the heavy hitting of Kvitova would now do more damage.

Two more holds by each sent the set into a tiebreaker, where Kvitova gained the upper hand in the third point, striking a cross court backhand for a winner. She would go on to lose just one more point, taking the breaker 7-2 for a one-set lead.

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Czech dominates second set to reach first Aussie Open final

Kvitova carried over the momentum she gained in the first set tiebreaker to the second set, which turned out to be lopsided. The two-time Wimbledon champion was off the mark early with an immediate break.

Another brilliant backhand winner put the eighth seed up a double break at 3-0 and a hold confirmed the second break, the lead now stretched to 4-0, Collins sensing the end of her run coming in short order.

The 35th-ranked American, who defeated three top 20 players en route to the last four, only generated one game point in the set and after she wasted that opportunity, Kvitova seized upon it and broke once more.

Now one game from the final at 5-0, the Czech blasted a forehand winner on match point to advance to Saturday's championship match, her first major final in five years.

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Kvitova speaks to the press following win

"It means everything", Kvitova said about reaching the final. "This is why I work very hard to be in the finals of tournaments and in the finals of majors". She admitted "I like playing indoors" following the closure of the roof. "It helped me a little bit, but if it was open, I was still going to fight".

On a seven-match winning streak in finals, Kvitova will put that mark on the line against Osaka, who is seeking her second consecutive major title: "I really love playing finals and I love playing on the big stage. I'm really looking forward to it".

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