World No.6 and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has marched into her first Grand Slam final in five years. The tall Czech ended USA's Danielle Collins’ dream run run with a 7-6(2) 6-0 in the semi-final on Rod Laver Arena.
This is the first time that Kvitova is featuring in the Australian Open second week since a semifinal showing in 2012.
"It means everything. That's why I've worked so hard to reach finals of tournaments and finals of majors. Finally, I have made it deep here at this major and I will enjoy the final. Whatever happens I’m already very, very happy," said a thrilled Kvitova.
On Saturday, the eighth seed will not only vie for a third Grand Slam title, but the No.1 ranking is also within her grasp.
World No.35 Collins, who hadn’t won a Grand Slam main draw match prior to the tournament, did lead 3-2 in the first set but Kvitova smashed a cross-court backhand winner to make it 3-3.
The roof was closed at 4-4 due to the heat stress scale reaching a maximum of 5.0, and shortly afterwards, the set went into a tie-break.
Kvitova, who beat Collins at the Brisbane International earlier this month, won the tie-break and the next set even more easier.
"The first set was very tight, I was also very nervous and I couldn't fully swing. It didn't matter if it (the roof) was closed, I was still going to fight. I'm glad that my game from previous matches arrived in the tie-break and second set," said Kvitova, who has now won 11 straight matches since lifting the Sydney International trophy before the Australian Open.
The 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion is a 26-time winner on the WTA tour and has won her last eight finals. Clearly, ominus signs for her opponent come Saturday.