Barbora Krejcikova overcame a slow start to win an epic three-set battle against Anett Kontaveit 0-6, 6-4, 7-6(12) to book her place in the Sydney Tennis Classic final.
On commentary, Casey Dellacqua couldn’t hide her amazement at the tennis she was witnessing, “That was an incredible match, such a showcase of women’s tennis.”
Krejcikova displayed tremendous resilience to recover from not winning a game in the first set. She also saved seven match points with some tremendous stroke play.
In a tight second set, Krejcikova managed to get a crucial break of serve in the 9th game to lead 5-4. From there, she managed to hold her nerve and serve out the set to take the match to a deciding set.
In her post-match interview, Krejcikova was thrilled that she was able to work herself into the match after her horror start.
“Annet started really well. She was hitting the ball very hard and everything was going in for her so I tried to fight more and stay in the match and I felt at some point I would get my chances and it's important to convert them.”
Krejcikova will meet the winner of tonight’s other semi-final between Paula Badosa and Daria Kasatkina in tomorrow’s final.
In the match that followed, Andy Murray booked his place in his first tour-level final since 2019, coming from a set behind to take down giant-serving American No. 4 seed Reilly Opelka 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4.
The Brit put in a tremendous serving display to trump Opelka, winning a whopping 88% of points on his first serve, and slamming down 16 aces in the process.
“You can’t really prepare for it, to be honest, you just have to try and adjust while you’re out there. I chose to block quite a few returns, to get lots in play today, which worked pretty well,” Murray said on Opelka's serve post-match.
“It’s tough but returning has always been one of the strongest parts of my game, and I used it well today.”
Murray will face the winner of tonight's semi-final between fellow Brit Dan Evans and No. 1 seed Aslan Karatsev.
In doubles action, Australian John Peers and Slovak Fillip Polasek defeated Aussie duo Matt Reid and Alexei Popyrin 7-6(2), 6-3 to book their ticket in the final.