Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 20th 2014 Contents A66
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt April 20, 2014
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia
overcame a fighting Karolina
Pliskova of the Czech Republic
6--7 (3), 6--3, 6--3 in the semifinals
of the Malaysian Open yesterday.
Cibulkova won her second suc-
cessive match from a set down
and will play seventh-seeded
Donna Vekic of Croatia in today s
Cibulkova, who reached the final
of the Australian Open, was tested
by the big serves of third-seeded
Pliskova, who slammed in 17 aces
during the two-and-a-half hour
In the other semifinal, Vekic ral-
lied to beat second-seeded Shuai
Zhang of China 1--6, 6--3, 6--4.
Vekic, the 17-year-old who
knocked out fourth-seeded Patricia
Mayr-Achleitner of Austria in the
quarterfinals, continued her fine
run as she saved six break points
and won in one-and-a-half hours.
OSTRAVA---The Czech Republic
took a commanding 2--0 lead over
defending champion Italy in their
Fed Cup semifinal yesterday after
Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova
won the opening singles matches
in straight sets in the Czech
Safarova gave the Czechs a 1--0
lead by upsetting Sara Errani 6--4,
6--1, and Kvitova used her powerful
serve and forehand to follow up
with a 6--4, 6--2 win over Camila
Giorgi to put the hosts one win
away from the final against Aus-
tralia or Germany.
The reverse singles and doubles
are planned for today.
The sixth-ranked Kvitova dom-
inated the hard-hitting Giorgi and
didn t face a break point until in
the final game when she saved two
and needed four match points to
seal the victory.
"I played a solid game and my
serve helped me a great deal," said
Kvitova, who hit 11 aces.
Kvitova broke the 54th-ranked
Giorgi in the opening game and
went on to serve out the first set
with an ace.
The match had to be interrupted
for 20 minutes in the first set with
Kvitova leading 4--3 due to a prob-
lem with the lights in the CEZ
Giorgi double-faulted twice in
the opening game of the second
set and produced another double-
fault to go 5--2 down.
Earlier, the 26th-ranked
Safarova converted her first match
point with a return winner to
complete the victory over her
"It s an important victory for
our team," said Safarova, who
improved to 2--1 against Errani.
The Czech played aggressively
from the start on the fast indoor
hard-court at the CEZ Arena,
hitting 33 winners to Errani s
The opening set saw both play-
ers losing their serve twice in the
first five games. Errani then dou-
ble-faulted in the ninth game to
lose her serve for the third time
and Safarova clinched the set with
a service winner.
"I was nervous at the beginning
and made some mistakes," Safarova
said. "But then I managed to focus
on my game. I went aggressively
for the points."
Errani continued in the same
fashion in the final set, losing her
three service games. (AP)
leads Italy 2--0
in Fed Cup semis
wanska beat Silvia Soler-
Espinosa to give Poland the first
point of its Fed Cup World
Group playoff against Spain yes-
terday, only for sister Urszula
Radwanska to surrender a one-
set lead and lose to Maria-Teresa
With the series at 1--1, the return
singles and doubles match will
decide the tie today.
Third-ranked Agnieszka eased
to a 6--2, 6--2 win over Soler-
Espinosa in the opener on the out-
door red clay court at the Estadio
Olimpico in Barcelona.
Agnieszka saved five break
points to hold serve at the start
of the second set and went on
to finish the match in one hour,
Torro-Flor started slowly but
then roared back to beat Urszula
Radwanska 4--6, 6--0, 6--1, over-
coming nine double faults by hit-
ting 43 winners.
Spain captain Conchita Martinez
lauded Torro-Flor s powerful fore-
hand, the key to her turnaround.
"The acceleration is remarkable,"
Martinez said. "If she works a little
more in always being in good posi-
tions with her legs, her potential
I think is big."
Torro-Flor will play Agnieszka
"With that forehand you can
give problems to everybody," Mar-
tinez said. "The thing is Agnieszka
is going to bring back the ball a
lot more than Urszula did." (AP)
Cibulkova to play Vekic in Malaysian final
Poland, Spain split points for 1--1
Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova returns a ball to Italy's Camila Giorgi
during their Fed Cup semifinal tennis match in Ostrava, Czech Republic,
yesterday. AP PHOTO
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