Petra Kvitova battled past world number one Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 on Friday to set up a Qatar Open final against Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.

The two-time Wimbledon winner overcame a second-set blip to reach the 37th WTA final of her career and her second in Doha, where she won the 2018 title.

Kvitova ended a run of four straight defeats to Barty, including in the Australian Open quarterfinals earlier this year.

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Australia's Barty has now lost in back-to-back semifinals after her last-four loss to eventual champion Sofia Kenin in Melbourne.

It will be Kvitova's first final since April last year in Stuttgart.

The 29-year-old Czech, ranked 11th in the world, is chasing a 28th tour title.

-Sabalenka sends Kuznetsova packing-

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus dispatched Russian veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-3 on Friday to seal a place in the Qatar Open final.

Ninth seed Sabalenka broke twice former Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova four times as she reached a 10th career WTA final -- her first of the 2020 season.

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Tennis - WTA Premier 5 - Qatar Open - Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, Doha, Qatar - February 28, 2020 Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka celebrates winning her semi final match against Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari

 

-Watson one step away from ending title drought-

Heather Watson is on track to win her first WTA title in four years after reaching the Mexican Open final.

Watson – the British seventh seed – overcame Wang Xiyu 6-4 7-6 (8-6) at the WTA International tournament in Acapulco on Friday.

Not since the 2016 Monterrey Open has Watson claimed a WTA trophy but the British number two moved a step closer to ending that drought.

Watson, who lost the Tianjin Open decider in October, will meet Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez in the final.

Fernandez – contesting her maiden WTA semi-final – was too good for local wildcard Renata Zarazua 6-3 6-3.

Zarazua became the first Mexican woman to reach a WTA Tour semi-final since 1993 after triumphing in the quarter-finals, but she was no match for the 17-year-old.