Tennis

Zvonareva rolls over Kvitova to WTA Tokyo final

Fourth-ranked Vera Zvonareva vanquished fifth seed and reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 7-6, 6-0 to reach the final at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Thursday.

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 in Tokyo.

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 tiebreaker which Zvonareva won.

The second set was all Zvonareva, who broke the fifth-seeded Czech three times to close out the match in one 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 will face Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in Saturday's final. The ninth-seeded Radwanska beat third-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in a match that lasted two hours 31 minutes.

Zvonareva has won both her previous matches against Kvitova on hard court and continued her dominance in Friday's match at Ariake Colosseum.

"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."

Kvitova has beaten 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."

Zvonareva and Radwanska are 2-2 in head-to-head matches.

"I've beaten Vera a couple of times," Radwanska said. "She's a great player and I know I have to play my best to beat her.

"I just hope I can play like I can today."