Petra Kvitova made an astonishing comeback in a Grand Slam final after five years, defeating unseeded American Danielle Collins 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 in the semifinal clash on Thursday. The eighth-seeded Czech needed one hour and 33 minutes to secure a spot in the Australian Open final for the first time.
The first set was a hard battle under the scorching sun as Kvitova fought hard against the giant killer Collins, who defeated top seed Angelique Kerber on her road to the semifinal. After a 6-5 lead to the left-handed Czech player, Collins rallied back with a 40-0 to game point after a 17-hit rally and leveled it to 6-6.
The players were eased at the serves with the roof closed above Rod Laver Arena at 4-4 due, but they seemed to have little trouble adjusting their rackets in the new condition. Kvitova made a good start with 3-1 and then rushed to 5-1. There was tense on the court after Kvitova shot a backhand winner down the line but the American argued with the umpire Carlos Ramos as a serve is called wide.
Then the two-time Wimbledon champion Czech fired an ace to which her opponent hit the net resulting in a 7-2 win. She ruthlessly wrapped up the second set in no time leaving the American hopeless and frustrated after a long run of winning since her first WTA title on this new year.
Kvitova, who was severely stabbed in a career-threatening home invasion in December, 2016, extended her winning streak to 11 matches in a row. She will play US Open champion Japanese sensation Naomi Osaka who defeated Karolina Pliskova.