Connect to share and comment

Tennis: Kirilenko topples Kvitova to reach Indian Wells semis

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Maria Kirilenko added another upset to her Indian Wells resume on Wednesday as she toppled fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova in three sets to reach the semi-finals of the combined ATP Masters and WTA event.

Russia's Kirilenko, playing her first tournament since retiring with a right shoulder injury in the first round at Doha, defeated the 2011 Wimbledon champion Kvitova 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

She improved to 6-0 in three-set matches this year and reached the Indian Wells semi-finals for the first time in 10 appearances.

She benefitted from a poor service game by Kvitova in the final game of the second set, when the Czech served four of her total 13 double faults of the match to drop the game and the set.

After they traded breaks in the sixth and seventh games of the third, Kvitova again double faulted on break point in the eighth to allow Kirilenko to serve for the match at 5-3.

Kirilenko fell behind 0-30, but reeled off four straight points to secure the win.

"I just said to myself serve as hard as you can," said Kirilenko, adding that by that time she could tell Kvitova was going for broke on every shot.

"Finally I reached the semi-finals!" she said.

Kirilenko, who beat third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round, will face either second-seeded Maria Sharapova or sixth-seeded Sara Errani, who faced off in a French Open final rematch later Wednesday.

Sharapova swept past Errani in the title match at Roland Garros last year to complete a career Grand Slam, and beat Errani again in the first round of the season-ending WTA Championships.

The Russian star, seeded second here behind defending champion Victoria Azarenka, was vying to reach a third straight semi-final this season.

bb/gph

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130313/tennis-kirilenko-topples-kvitova-reach-indian-wells-semis