Australian Open - Erratic Kvitova books semi berth

Wed, 25 Jan 09:18:00 2012

World number two Petra Kvitova rallied from a three-game deficit in the second set before advancing to the Australian Open semi-finals with a 6-4 6-4 win over Italian surprise package Sara Errani.

2012 TENNIS Petra Kvitova - 0

The Wimbledon champion, who has played four of her five matches first up on Rod Laver Arena, found herself 4-1 down in the second set before she reeled off the next five games to maintain her quest for a second Grand Slam title.

Unseeded Errani, who at 1.64m was dwarfed by the 1.83m Kvitova, stretched the Czech throughout their match, putting a surprising amount of topspin on the ball and blasting winners down the line.

Second seed Kvitova was her own worst enemy at times and looked exasperated after committing 44 unforced errors.

"At the beginning I was a little nervous because I knew everybody expected it to be an easy match," the 21-year-old said.

"Of course you have a little pressure on your back because you have a Grand Slam and everybody is expecting that you win all your matches when you play.

"But it's not really easy. That's why I'm really happy to be in the semi-final here."

Australian Open†: 1/4 fina

Kvitova is one of three women still in with a chance to take over the world number one ranking from Caroline Wozniacki, who was knocked out by Kim Clijsters on Tuesday.

The other two are Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, who she beat in last year's Wimbledon final.

Kvitova will face Sharapova again in the semi-finals at Melbourne Park after the Russian beat Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets.

While the diminutive Errani could have been mistaken for a Melbourne Park ball-kid had she been wearing a blue shirt, she showed that good things can come in small packages.

On several occasions she produced blistering backhand groundstokes that left the normally assured and mobile Kvitova flatfooted.

There was no rest for the Italian, who was playing her doubles semi-final with compatriot Roberta Vinci against Czech duo Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka later on Wednesday.

Reuters

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