WUHAN, China -- In a rematch of July's Wimbledon final, No. 3 Petra Kvitova and No. 9 Eugenie Bouchard will face off in the Wuhan Open final on Saturday. Kvitova advanced with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Elina Svitolina in the first semifinal, while Bouchard made easy work of Caroline Wozniacki, notching a 6-2, 6-3 victory during Friday's evening match.
The quicker courts in Wuhan have played to the strengths of both women all week, and the winner in Wuhan will qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore. Kvitova is 2-0 in finals this year and 13-4 in finals in her career. She has not lost a set to Bouchard in two matches, most notably winning their Wimbledon final 6-3, 6-0. Kvitova, who will remain at No. 3 ahead of Maria Sharapova if she wins the title, will be going for her first top ten win of the season.
Kvitova won a title in New Haven over the summer but continued to struggle her form on North American hard courts. But after a few weeks of rest and a solid training block she arrived in Wuhan in good form. But did she think she a run to the final was in the cards? "I don't think that my confidence is that high," Kvitova said. "So, for example, I know that I practice well and I did everything what I need, but every time I'm going to the tournament and before the first round I never know when it's going to be there."
Bouchard also struggled after Wimbledon but the post U.S. Open break did her good. She lost just one set this week in her first tournament since her fourth-round exit at the U.S. Open. She needed three sets to beat Mona Barthel in her first round but has been dominant since, and her win over Wozniacki was her best performance of the week. She fended off break points early in the match and then imposed her hyper-aggressive game on the Dane, who struggled to hold serve.
Playing without her coach Nick Saviano for the remainder of the regular season, Bouchard is now into her first WTA Premier final. She's also a win away from putting to rest the notion that she can't win outside the majors. Bouchard and Kvitova practiced together before the tournament and Bouchard admitted Kvitova won most of the points.
"I think I didn't impose myself enough in the Wimbledon final, and she was the one controlling the points all the time. But she played really, really well, so there wasn't too much I could do and that happens sometimes. So I hope tomorrow I can do my thing more on the court and not get pushed around so much."