China’s Peng Shuai broke her seven-match losing streak against Russia’s Vera Zvonareva on Friday to reach the Brussels Open final where she will face world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki for the title.
Peng, the eighth-seed, beat world No. 2 Zvonareva 6-3, 6-3.
Peng is in her fourth and biggest WTA final, and after her first title.
She was a runner-up at Strasbourg in 2006 and at Forest Hills and Guangzhou in 2008.
Wozniacki, the top seed, won an all-star second semi-final, grinding past third-seed Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Wozniacki leads Peng in their head-to-head series, 2-1. Peng won their first meeting in 2007, while Wozniacki recorded wins in 2008 and 2009.
WORLD TEAM CUP
AP, DUESSELDORF, GERMANY
Germany beat Russia in the World Team Cup on Friday to book a place in the final.
Philipp Kohlschreiber sealed the host nation’s eighth appearance in the final — against defending champion Argentina — with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Mikhail Youzhny, building on Philipp Petzschner’s victory over Igor Andreev on Thursday.
Although Serbia also defeated Spain to leave both countries with a 2-1 record from the round-robin stage, Germany topped the Blue Group and advanced to the final on the basis of having beaten Serbia during the round-robin stage.
Argentina, who beat the US on Thursday to head the Red Group, are bidding to become the third nation to successfully defend their title after the US in 1984-1985 and Chile in 2003-2004.
The South Americans will be playing in the final for the seventh time and have been crowned champions on four occasions, with both defeats coming against Germany, in 1989 and 2005.
AP, STRASBOURG, FRANCE
Top-seeded Marion Bartoli of France easily beat Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-1, 6-2 on Friday to reach the final of the Strasbourg International.
The Frenchwoman will face Andrea Petkovic of Germany, who outlasted Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in a match that lasted 2 hours, 42 minutes.
Bartoli put pressure on her opponent’s serve throughout the match, winning 27 of 43 return points. She is trying to build confidence on clay ahead of the French Open after a first-round exit in Barcelona and second-round losses in Charleston, Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome.
In the second semi-final, the sixth-seeded Hantuchova leveled at one set apiece when Petkovic double faulted. However, the German fought back in the decider by jumping to a 3-0 lead. She converted her third match point to reach her second final this season.
Spain’s Nicolas Almagro outplayed second-seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4 to reach the final of the Nice Open on Friday.
Almagro will take on Victor Hanescu in the final after the Romanian saw off Ukraine’s Alexander Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-3.
Almagro, the third-seed, converted his three break chances to seal a straightforward win.
In the other semi-final, Hanescu broke once in the opening set and opened a 4-1 lead in the second, clinching victory with a backhand winner.