Vera Zvonareva stepped up her bid to reclaim a top 10 ranking when she moved into the final of the $145,000 ASB Women's Classic tennis tournament Friday.
updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
Auckland:Vera Zvonareva stepped up her bid to reclaim a top 10 ranking when she moved into the final of the $145,000 ASB Women's Classic tennis tournament Friday. The eighth-seeded Zvonareva took little more than an hour to beat second-seeded Daniel Hantuchova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-2 and set up a final Saturday with sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France. Bartoli reached her first WTA final when her top-seeded Russian opponent, Nadia Petrova, withdrew with a groin injury in the third set of the second semifinal. Petrova took the first set 6-3 but, increasingly impeded by her injury, lost the second set 6-4 and was a break down at 2-1 in the second set when she retired hurt. ''This is the first time I've been in a WTA final so it's really great to make it here in Auckland,'' Baroli said. ''I'm so tired can't stand on my feet any more. Today the key was to run and run and finally I put a lot of pressure on her and she started to miss on the big points.'' Petrova was commanding in the first set but Bartoli broke her serve in the first game of the second and held on to that advantage. Zvonareva used the Auckland tournament this week as a first step up the WTA singles ladder. She fell off her peak ranking of nine when her form was affected by illness and injury in the second half of last year, but has looked much better recently than her ranking of 41. (AP)