Kerber to face Ivanovic for Linz title
Linz, Austria (SportsNetwork.com) - Angelique Kerber and Ana Ivanovic were easy semifinal winners Saturday and will play for the title at the Generali Ladies Linz tournament.
The top-seeded Kerber needed just 51 minutes to post a 6-2, 6-0 rout of Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro before the third-seeded Ivanovic advanced in similar fashion with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele.
Ivanovic will try for her third Linz title. She won the crown in 2008 and again in 2010. This will be the Serb's first final of 2013.
The former world No. 1 star is 11-4 all-time in finals, but will play for a title for the first time since her last tournament win two years ago in Bali.
Kerber, meanwhile, is 2-5 in title matches, including 0-2 this year. She lost to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Monterrey back in April and fell to Petra Kvitova in Tokyo just last month. She won her only two titles last year -- in Paris and Copenhagen.
Ivanovic is 3-1 lifetime against Kerber, but the German's lone win came last month in Tokyo -- a 6-4, 6-2 third-round thrashing.
Kerber opened a 3-2 lead with a pair of breaks early Saturday, then didn't lose another game en route to avenging a loss to Suarez Navarro in the fourth round of the U.S. Open.
Ivanovic broke Voegele for a 5-4 lead and held to capture the first set, then rebounded from an early break against to finish off the 23-year-old Swiss, who had lost five straight first-round matches before her surprising run this week. That stretch included a quarterfinal upset of American Sloane Stephens.
Sunday's winner will claim $43,600.