Apia Sydney International 2015
Sydney Women’s Singles Final Friday Jan 16
2-Petra Kvitova beat Karolina Pliskova 7-6(5) 7-6(6)
Sydney Men’s Singles Semifinal Friday Jan 16
Mikhail Kukushkin beat 5-Leonardo Mayer 6-4 6-4
Viktor Troicki beat Gilles Muller 6-2 6-4
Kvitova Captures Sydney Crown; Defeats Compatriot Pliskova in Final
apiainternational.com.au: January 16 2015 Sydney, Australia – Petra Kvitova powered her way to her first Apia International Sydney trophy with a stylish victory over Karolina Pliskova in Friday night’s women’s final. The reigning Wimbledon champion outclassed her fast-rising compatriot 7-6(5) 7-6(6) in the first all-Czech final at the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.
All power and precision, Kvitova quelled Pliskova’s tenacious challenge in one hour and 52 minutes to secure her 15th career title. Ominously for her rivals, the straight-sets victory marked only the second time Kvitova had ever hoisted a trophy the week before the season’s first Grand Slam.
After reigning in Brisbane in 2011 as a little-known 20-year-old ranked 34th in the world, Kvitova marched past Sam Stosur in the third round en route to the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park for the first time. Six months later, the free-hitting left-hander won the first of her two Wimbledon crowns. A former Australian Open junior champion, Pliskova took the fight to Kvitova, breaking the tournament’s second seed in the second game of the final to seize the early initiative.
But Kvitova clubbed two forehand winners and then unleashed a scorching backhand pass to break back as Pliskova tried to serve out the opening set at 5-4. After snatching the first set in a tiebreaker, Kvitova claimed an early break in the second and looked headed for a routine win. Pliskova had other ideas, drawing back on level terms in the sixth game to force another tiebreaker, only for Kvitova’s class to shine through once again when it mattered most.
Underlining her superiority over her compatriots, Kvitova’s win was her 15th in a row against Czech opponents. Despite the defeat, Plisokova – a nominee for the WTA’s Most Improved Player in 2014 after winning two titles from five finals – will crack the world’s top 20 for the first time on Monday. Kvitova said her hard-earned win three days out from the start of Australian Open 2015 was most satisfying.
Kukushkin, Troicki in Men's Final
apiainternational.com.au: January 16 2015 Sydney, Australia – Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin has taken his Apia International Sydney winning streak to seven with a straight-sets victory over Leonardo Mayer to advance to the final.
Having begun the tournament in qualifying, Kukushkin is yet to drop a set in Sydney, and put in another impressive performance on Ken Rosewall Arena – he beat defending champion Juan Martin del Potro on the same court in the quarterfinals on Thursday – to oust the fifth seed.
He’ll meet Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, another qualifier, in the decider; in three career ATP finals, it is the first outside his native Russia. Troicki advanced to the final with a comprehensive victory over Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-2 6-4. It is the second time that Troicki will appear in the Sydney final, after he progressed to the title match in 2011.