The 12-year-old world 33th will try to win a 9th title in WTA 1000, category just below the Grand Slams, five years after the last conquered in Madrid.

But she will have to face the player in great form of the moment, in search of the "Sunshine Double" in the wake of her victory in Indian Wells, a double achieved the same year by four players so far: Steffi Graf twice, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka and Iga Swiatek.

In the meantime, she still took the upper hand against Cirstea (74th), with a seventh victory in eleven confrontations, who had made a better start in this meeting, since she led 5-2 and even been two points from the set in the next game.

And the 32-year-old Romanian, who had created the surprise by taking out the world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, will have regrets for not having then materialized her two set balls at 5-3 on Kvitova's serve. Because the latter was able to turn the situation around by winning the next four games.

In the aftermath, the Czech broke her rival from the start, maintaining this advantage until the end, without ever being worried about her commitment, to conclude in 1h41.

© 2023 AFP