Petra Kvitova and Maria Kirlenko are set to square off in the final of the New Haven Open at 3:00 p.m. ET. After a tougher semifinal match, Kvitova will cruise to a victory and carry momentum into the U.S. Open.
Kvitova beat Nicole Gibbs 6-2, 6-4 in the second round and then fellow Czech Republic national Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals.
In the first round Kirlenko beat Shahar Peer 6-2, 6-2. In the second round, Olga Govortsova dropped out to advance Kirlenko to the quarters. Kirlenko beat Olga Govortsova 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Kirlenko won the match as Caroline Wozniacki retired with Kirlenko ahead 7-5 after the first set.
Through the tournament, Kirlenko has hardly been tested. In the four matches, she has only played six sets as tough opponents have dropped out. She played tough sets against Wozniacki and Govortsovia, but it was clear that Wozniacki was suffering.
With the choppy tournament that Kirlenko has been forced to play due to opponent's injuries, Kirlenko may struggle to come out of the gates with great intensity. While Kvitova enters with the confidence of knowing she deserves in the final by beating everybody in her way, Kirlenko won't have that same confidence.
On the other hand, Kvitova has been tested and played solidly throughout the tournament without the interruptions that Kirlenko has. As the fifth-ranked player in the world, Kvitova already has the upper hand against Kirlenko, who is ranked 14th.
With the U.S. Open peeking around the corner, Kvitova can't be looking ahead to that tournament. She needs to maintain focus and head into that tournament with the confidence from winning the New Haven Open. That confidence could help Kvitova make some noise when the U.S. Open begins.
Kvitova should win fairly easily against Kirlenko as she's the better player and enters the match with supreme confidence.