Petra Kvitova reaches her first ever Australian Open final after teaching US college star Danielle Collins a lesson in how to handle pressure
- Petra Kvitova beat Danielle Collins to reach her first ever Australian Open final
- Kvitova made a slow start but recovered well to win 7-6, 6-0 on Rod Laver Arena
- The No 8 seed will now play Naomi Osaka or Elina Svitolina in Saturday’s final
Petra Kvitova progressed to her first ever Australian Open final on Thursday by ending the remarkable run of Danielle Collins in Melbourne.
No 8 seed Kvitova, playing in just her second semi-final here, was not at her brilliant best in the first set but delivered the goods when needed to seal a 7-6, 6-0 victory.
Unseeded US college star Collins, who before this tournament had never progressed beyond the first round of a Grand Slam, settled quicker in the intense Melbourne heat and was the first player to break serve.
Petra Kvitova beat Danielle Collins on Thursday to reach her first ever Australian Open final
Collins started well but lost a first-set breaker before failing to win a single game in the second
No 8 seed Kvitova waved to her supporters after wrapping up a 7-6, 6-0 victory in 94 minutes
Kvitova served four aces past Collins en route to booking her place in Saturday’s women’s final
Twenty-five-year-old American Collins was competing in her first ever Grand Slam semi-final
Actress Nicole Kidman (centre) watched on alongside Anna Wintour (left) and Keith Urban
But Kvitova hit back before, with the score tied at 4-4 in the first set, play was suspended while the roof over Rod Laver Arena was closed due to the heat policy. The announcement from umpire Carlos Ramos was cheered by sweaty fans who had been baking in the afternoon sun.
Despite the hot weather, Kvitova kept her cool in the first-set tie-break, which she bossed to win 7-2.
After taking the opener in a one-sided breaker, the momentum was with Kvitova, while Collins looked ratted.
In the blink of an eye the second set was over as Kvitova dished out a bagel to end the match with 94 minutes on the clock.
Collins started the match well and was the first player to claim a break of serve on Thursday
Kvitova looked very serious during a change of ends as she sat in a chair and held onto a drink
Collins pulled an amusing face after a point during Thursday’s semi-final on Rod Laver Arena
Kvitova celebrated with a clenched fist as she roared in delight after breaking back in set one
‘It means everything to be in the final,’ said a delighted Kvitova.
‘I work very hard to be in finals of tournaments.
‘I will really enjoy the final. Whatever happens I’m really, really happy.
‘The first set I was really nervous. I didn’t have a full swing.
‘I actually was happier than the fans when the roof closed! I like playing indoors.’
With the score tied at 4-4 in the opening set, the roof was closed due to the high temperature
Despite the hot weather, Kvitova kept her cool in the first-set tie-break, which she won 7-2
Collins, 25, was thoroughly outplayed in the second set and she failed to win a single game
The American looked gutted after being thrashed by two-time Wimbledon champions Kvitova
Collins and Czech star Kvitova shook hands at the net after their match at Melbourne Park
Kvitova, 28, blew kisses to the crowd after marching into Saturday’s Australian Open final