Czech Petra Kvitova has secured her spot in the semifinals after defeating Slovak Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets 6-0 6-4.
Despite Cibulkova’s experience as a former top 20 player, currently sitting three spots ahead of Kvitova at world No.31, it just wasn’t enough to fend off the six-foot (1.83 m) blonde.
Kvitova refused to give a single game to her opponent until the second set, when right-handed Cibulkova held serve to snatch one for herself, but was still behind at 2-1.
Kvitova continued her attack, tactful and composed, despite the powerful strokes coming back from the 21 year old from Bratislava.
Just a game away from defeat Cibulkova buckled under pressure, making faulty returns into the net to set Kvitova’s semifinals bid in stone.
Heading into the next round, the Bilovec-born Czech’s match history hints at an escalating tennis career that looks set to continue up and up.
Since turning pro in 2006, the 2010 WTA Newcomer Of The Year has won eight titles, including an Australian tournament in 2009, the Moorilla Hobart International.
A winner in Monzon, Spain, and finalist in Linz, Austria, in 2009, Kvitova has also been in the Czech Fed Cup team every year since 2007.
It was, however, the left-hander’s appearance at the Wimbledon semifinals last year – her best result for a Grand Slam – that thrust her onto the world stage and the lips of many.
Before that tournament Kvitova hadn’t won a single match on grass courts, but all of a sudden found herself winning five to come up against then 12-time Grand Slam winner and eventual champion Serena Williams.
Not even Kvitova herself believed she would actually beat the former World No.1 power player.
But just to be there, ahead of favourites Kim Clijsters and Sam Stosur, who were unsuspectingly knocked out in earlier rounds, proved that despite her 7-6(5) 6-2 loss she was still up there.
Also last year, Kvitova made the semifinals to face Russian World No.18 Maria Sharapova in Memphis, falling 6-4 6-3, and Swede Sofia Arvidsson, falling 7-5 6-4.
And now, through to the semifinals again at her first tournament of 2011, there is just one person standing between the rising Czech and a chance at the 2011 Brisbane International final: fifth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who she’ll play in the second match of the night session on Friday night at Pat Rafter Arena.