Tokyo, Japan – The top left-handers in women's tennis will square off in a final on Saturday, as fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber and seventh seed Petra Kvitova will decide the 2013 champion at the $2.37 million Pan Pacific Open tennis event.
Friday's semifinals in Tokyo saw the German Kerber cut down fourth-seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki, the 2010 Pan Pacific titlist, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) and the big Czech Kvitova overcome former world No. 1 star and fellow former Wimbledon champ Venus Williams 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) on the hardcourts at Ariake Coliseum.
"I was probably a little tired, but I don't think it affected the match," Williams said. "She was probably a little tired, too, since she played two matches yesterday (Thursday).
"At the end, she played amazing in the tiebreaker. I don't think I'm at my best off the ground yet. My serve has improved tremendously with each match here," Venus added.
"She hit a lot of unreturnable shots in the tiebreaker and sometimes that happens. She just played great."
The 33-year-old Williams stunned top-seeded and fellow former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka here on Tuesday.
Kvitova topped Williams in 2 hours, 24 minutes, despite a nine-ace effort from the veteran American.
"After winning, it's always a good feeling," Kvitova said. "Every game was up and down, and it was about a few points.
"I always love playing here. I had a great result in 2011, when I reached the semifinals and I love being on center court before a great crowd.
"I'm looking forward to the final tomorrow (Saturday)."
Kerber and Kvitova will meet for a fourth time at the WTA level, with the German holding a 2-1 lifetime edge, with all three meetings coming last year.
The 25-year-old Kerber will appear in her second final of 2013, seeking her first title of the year. She's 2-4 in her career finals, with both wins coming last year.
The 23-year-old Kvitova is 10-4 in her career finals, including 1-2 this season, with the victory coming in Dubai.
The 2013 Pan Pacific titlist will earn $426,000.