Kvitova edges past Pironkova to reach semi-finals

London: Petra Kvitova reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the second year in a row with a 6-3 6-7 6-2 win over Bulgaria`s Tsvetana Pironkova on Tuesday.

The Czech left-hander, who has blasted into the world`s top 10 this year, broke Pironkova`s serve to love in the opening game of a first set she dominated.

The eighth seed had to battle back in the second as Pironkova, also a surprise semi-finalist last year, loosened up to establish a 4-2 lead but Kvitova responded to take the set into a tiebreak.

The 21-year-old Kvitova had her nose in front in the breaker but two consecutive forehands into the tramlines allowed her opponent to take the match to a decider.

Kvitova, bidding to become the first left-hander to win the women`s sigles at Wimbledon since Martina Navratilova in 1990, quickly put the setback behind her to dominate the third set, sealing victory with her ninth ace to set up a semi-final against Victoria Azarenka or Tamira Paszek.

"I`m very happy that I managed to break early in the third set and it was a different game then," Kvitova said in a televised interview.

"It`s good I have the experience of last year when I got to the semi-final and I`m looking forward to playing Maria."

Bureau Report

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