Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber reached the final of Stuttgart’s WTA indoor clay-court tournament with a gritty 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 semi-final win over Petra Kvitova on Saturday.
Kerber, the defending champion in Stuttgart, needed just over two hours to seal her win after Kvitova recovered from losing the first set to win the tight second.
Kerber, the second seed, dug deep in the third by making the majority of her first serves count to seal the win.
“The great support from the public here was the key,” beamed Kerber after her win.
“I can feel the same energy from the crowd there was last year, maybe even a bit more.
“I love winning here -- and hate to lose.”
In a duel of left-handers, Kerber raced out to a 4-1 lead with two early breaks and although Kvitova, the 2014 Wimbledon champion, pulled things back to 5-4, the German won the first set.
Kvitova used her only break of the second to level before Kerber established control early in the third to build up a commanding 5-2 lead to then win the match.
In Sunday’s final, Kerber will play either top seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland or qualifier Laura Siegemund.
Siegemund has fought her way to the final by taking out seeded players Simona Halep and Roberta Vinci in the second round and quarter-finals respectively.