Family Circle Cup: Jana Cepelova to face Andrea Petkovic in Charleston
Last Updated: 06/04/14 8:14am
Jana Cepelova’s dream run at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston continued as she defeated qualifier Belinda Bencic to book her place in an unlikely final with Andrea Petkovic.
20-year-old Slovakian Cepelova dumped world No 1 Serena Williams out of the even in the second round, and her fairytale has taken her within a win of the title after she beat 17-year-old Bencic 6-4 5-7 7-6 in a tense semi-final.
Both players broke serve five times in a lengthy match that lasted two hours and 33 minutes, until Cepelova eventually broke the Swiss qualifier’s resistance with a 9-7 win in the final tie-breaker.
"I think now on these matches that I won, I try to keep playing like against Serena," Cepelova said.
The world No 78 now faces former top 10 player Petkovic in Sunday’s final, after the German got the better of rising Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard 1-6 6-3 7-5.
Cepelova has not previously even been beyond the quarter-finals since she started on the WTA Tour back in 2011, and she faces a player with two Tour titles already under her belt.
Back from injury
Currently ranked 40th in the world, Petkovic has struggled for the last three years with injury and missed nine months on tour with back, knee and ankle problems.
"I was just so relieved and I was proud that I came back from all these injuries, and I never thought that I would play finals in the big tournaments again, and so I was just proud and happy and everything together," Petkovic said.
"The match was really tough. Genie played so well today - she was so aggressive, and I have to admit I was a little lucky in the second set when I managed to turn the match around.”
Petkovic understands she will be the big favourite in Sunday’s final, but is wary of the challenge a confident Cepelova will pose.
“They are super young, so they will come out and play great tennis," she said. "I am 100 percent sure of that, so I will have it very tough and I will have to fight hard."