Nadia Petrova dumps Kirsten Flipkens to reach the final showdown – UNICEF Open 2012
Russian eighth seed, Nadia Petrova, ended the cameo of the Belgian qualifier, Kirsten Flipkens, on Friday and booked a spot in the final of the UNICEF Open. It was comprehensive straight sets victory at 6-4, 6-2 for the 22nd
ranked Russian who took just an hour and 33 minutes to accomplish the goal.
Flipkens started off brilliantly and grabbed the opening serve with ease; tested the Russian to her limits but couldn’t convert two allotted breakpoints to her favour. Surprisingly, she was powered down on her serve in the following
game that helped the Russian to take a 2-1 lead. The loss of an early breakthrough led to the downfall of the 262nd ranked Belgian.
Both players capitalized on their serves and didn’t allow any opportunity to their rivals to take advantage. However, the Belgian was in need of a breakthrough. She was close on two different occurrences but couldn’t grab more
than two points on Petrova’s serve. The first set was over in a flash and the Russian was set to book a berth in the final showdown.
Flipkens saved two breakpoints on her opening serve but couldn’t hold her opponent on the third occurrence; falling down early in the set again. She was under immense pressure and despite saving three more breakpoints in the seventh
game; she failed to hang on to her serve and gifted a resounding lead of 5-2 to her competitor. Petrova smashed in fast serves to win four points on the trot in the final including an ace that confirmed her meeting with the Pole starlet, Urszula Radwanska,
who came all the way from the qualifiers to the grand stage of the tournament.
In a post-match interview, Petrova said, "It's another good win for me. Kirsten is not easy to play on grass, especially with her slice. I'm happy she's back and playing well. Today was quite a relaxing day. A lot of players left
- there are a lot of places to be. I was just keeping an eye on the matches and chatting with other players."
Commenting about her fellow finalist, the Russian said, "I can't say much because I've never played her, but she's a counterpuncher with a lot of variety and uses power well. I have to be spot on with my game and I have to be alert.
I'll have to play big tomorrow." The final match will be contested on the eve of Saturday.