World No.6 Petra Kvitova has soared into her first Grand Slam final in five years by ending Danielle Collins’ breakout major run with a 7-6(2) 6-0 triumph on Rod Laver Arena.
Before this fortnight the Czech had not featured in the Australian Open second week since a semifinal showing in 2012 – but now she has emphatically booked her maiden final at Melbourne Park.
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 as she faces US Open champion Naomi Osaka or Serena Williams’ conqueror Karolina Pliskova.
“Are you going to make me cry again?” Kvitova said with a beaming smile to on-court interviewer Jim Courier. “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.”
Naomi Osaka has advanced to her first Australian Open final thanks to a thrilling three-set victory over Karolina Pliskova.
In a match of the highest quality and studded with electrifying winners, Osaka held her nerve to record a 6-2 4-6 6-4 win.
"I kind of expected (a fightback from Pliskova), because I'd played her so many times and honestly she beat me more than I beat her," said Osaka, who lost to the Czech in their last meeting in the Tokyo final in September 2018.
"So I was expecting a really hard battle, and I just told myself to regroup in the third set and try as hard as I can, and I managed to win."