Tokyo: Vera Zvonareva staged a remarkable turnaround to beat Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 7-6 (2), 6-0 on Friday, advancing to the final of the Pan Pacific Open.
The fourth-seeded Russian took advantage of a collapse by Kvitova, who held a comfortable 5-1 lead in the first set before Zvonareva stormed back to make it 5-5, breaking her opponent three times. Both players then held serve to force a tiebreak which Zvonareva won.
"I played very good tennis, very consistent," Zvonareva said. "Petra is a tough opponent. We always have tough matches but I was a little more consistent today."
The second set was all Zvonareva, who broke the fifth-seeded Czech three times to close out the match in 1 hour, 30 minutes.
"If I knew what happened I would tell you," Kvitova said. "I don't know what happened. At 5-1, I just didn't play my game and she came back and played much better than me. The first set was mine for sure."
Zvonareva has won both her previous matches against Kvitova on hard court and continued her dominance in Friday's match at Ariake Colosseum.
"I was only thinking about my tennis and concentrating on my game," Zvonareva said. "I was a little bit off my rhythm in the beginning. I wasn't thinking about the score at all and was just trying to win one point at a time."
Kvitova has beat Zvonareva twice on clay and said the surface was a factor in Friday's match.
"On clay, she can't move as well as she does on the hard court so I have more space and time for winners," Kvitova said. "She plays very well on hard court and is tough to beat."
In Saturday's final, Zvonareva will face the winner of Friday's second semifinal between third-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and ninth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.