World No. 4 Barbora Krejcikova insisted she expected a really tough match against 2021 WTA Finals runner-up Anett Kontaveit. Krejcikova, seeded at No. 3, edged out fourth-seeded Kontaveit 0-6 6-4 7-6 (12) in the Sydney semifinal.
Krejcikova saved seven match points en route to edging out Kontaveit in two and a half hours. "I think from both sides it was a really, really tough match," Krejcikova said in her post-match press conference, per the WTA website.
"I think we played wonderful tennis. It was very, very tight, and I'm really happy that I was able to hold the nerves better and that I won this match. "I was expecting it was going to be really difficult, and I know that Anett, she is playing really great tennis and she's very aggressive.
I was just playing, just trying to fight for every single ball. When I had those match points down, I was just trying to figure out how to build up the point and how to win the point, and that was everything that I was focusing on.
"I had to change my game style a little bit more [to turn the match around] ... to start playing aggressive the point from my side. Otherwise she was just killing me."
Krejcikova survived a thriller
Kontaveit made an outstanding start to the match as she broke Krejcikova three times to comfortably win the opener.
Krejcikova had four break points in the opening game of the second set but failed to convert. However, Krejcikova kept her focus as she claimed her first break in the ninth game, before serving out for a decider a game later.
Kontaveit recovered from a break down in the third set and even had three match points in the 12th game but failed to convert. Krejcikova saved four more match points in the tie-break, before realizing her fifth match point to progress into the Sydney final.