WTA Tour: Petra Kvitova through to J&T Banka Prague Open final

Tennis

Petra Kvitova's rousing fightback in a first-set tie-break helped her defeat Zhang Shuai 7-6 (7/6) 6-0 and reach the final of the J&T Banka Prague Open.

During a first set which lasted almost an hour, both players were dominant on their serve and just two games went to deuce. Kvitova went 5-1 behind in the tiebreak but the number two seed dug deep to take the opener, which was handed to her courtesy of a double fault by Zhang.

The two-time Wimbledon champion then maintained her momentum and her relentless play saw her finish the match with a bagel in the second set.

Kvitova will play number seven seed Mihaela Buzarnescu in the final after she celebrated her 30th birthday with victory against Italian Camila Giorgi, who served for the match.

Buzarnescu lost the first set but battled back to win 4-6 6-3 7-5 in two hours and 25 minutes.

In Morocco, Elise Mertens' impressive year continued as she reached the final of the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem.

Mertens was too wily and skillful for Hsieh Su-wei as she made light work of her opponent to make a third WTA singles final of the season with a dominant 6-0 6-2 win in just 57 minutes.

The Belgian will take on unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic on Saturday in Rabat after the Australian beat number seven seed Aleksandra Krunic 7-5 6-2 in the other semi-final.

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