🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham SF Preview
🇨🇿 (4) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇷🇴 Mihaela Buzarnescu
Petra Kvitova is just two wins away from successfully defending her title at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham and becoming the first player to win 5 titles in 2018. Kvitova will come up against the in-form Mihaela Buzarnescu in Saturday’s second semi-final. Kvitova will enter this match as a strong favourite but Buzarnescu continues to defy the odds and enters this match fresh off a confidence boosting upset win over Elina Svitolina. Can the Romanian cause another big upset?
Petra Kvitova has stormed into the semi-finals in Birmingham, her fifth semi-final appearance of 2018. The four previous times Kvitova has reached this stage of an event in 2018 she has gone on to win the title. Kvitova has not dropped more than 4 games in a set this week, claiming comfortable straight set wins over Johanna Konta, Daria Gavrilova and Julia Goerges, easily navigating her way through a fairly tough draw.
Mihaela Buzarnescu arrived in Birmingham at a career high ranking and will reach another career high ranking at the competition of this event. It has been that type of year for the Romanian who is playing the best tennis of her life at this later stage of her career. The 30-year-old started her Birmingham campaign with a pair of 3 set wins over Timea Babos and Petra Martic before producing a superb performance to comprehensively defeat the second seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-2.
The only previous match between the pair took place a few months ago in the final in Prague on clay, Kvitova won that match 4-6 6-2 6-3. Buzarnescu is still yet to win a title at the WTA tour level, she came so close against Kvitova in Prague and will be keen for revenge in Birmingham and another shot at breaking her title duck.