Tennis: Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep clinch spot in New Haven Open final

Petra Kvitova wasted no time clinching a spot in Saturday’s title match.
Petra Kvitova wasted no time clinching a spot in Saturday’s title match.

Simona Halep beat Caroline Wozniacki, 6-2, 7-5, Friday night to reach the New Haven Open final in Connecticut.

The 21-year-old Romanian will be seeking her fourth title after winning three times on the WTA Tour since June. She broke Wozniacki six times, three times in each set.

Halep will play defending champion Petra Kvitova.


The Czech star beat countrywoman Klara Zakopalova, 6-0, 6-1, earlier in the day for her seventh consecutive match victory in New Haven.

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The loss was just the second for Wozniacki, from Denmark, in 25 career matches in New Haven, where she is a four-time champion. Her other defeat came a year ago when she had to retire from the semifinals because of a knee injury.

Kvitova, ranked No. 9 in the world, dominated her friend in a meeting that lasted only 50 minutes.

‘‘I played my game, finally today,’’ she said. ‘‘I played aggressively. I can improve my serve. I had some double faults again, so I can still improve.’’

That might be hard for Zakopalova to believe. Kvitova won 53 of the 76 points in the match.


Kvitova ended things on her serve, striking an ace on the final point.

‘‘She just played fantastic tennis today without any mistakes,’’ Zakopalova said. ‘‘I think everything was working for her, so I have to just congratulate her, wish her good luck because she was the better player today, for sure.’’

Kvitova, who leads the WTA Tour’s top 100 players with 29 three-set matches this season, didn’t let it get close.

‘‘That’s helpful, for sure, before [Saturday’s] final,’’ she said. ‘‘I hope that helps me to have more time for rest, not be on the court pretty long. So that’s the good thing.’’

Winston-Salem Open — Gael Monfils overcame early struggles to beat Alexandr Dolgopolov, 7-6 (13-11), 6-3 in the semifinals in North Carolina.


Monfils, No. 43 in the world, will play 32d-ranked Jurgen Melzer of Austria.

Melzer upset American Sam Querrey — at No. 29 the highest-ranked player in the semifinals, and the crowd favorite — 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Monfils and Melzer each have four ATP tournament titles.

‘‘It’s very good for my confidence,’’ said Monfils, who will play in his third tournament final of the season Saturday at the Wake Forest Tennis Center. ‘‘I’m not so happy with the way I played. I could have played better. I have to play better and be more sure of things.’’