Benesova, Kvitova in Hobart final

Updated: January 15, 2009, 6:43 AM ET
Associated Press

HOBART, Australia -- Iveta Benesova remained on course for her first WTA title in five years by reaching the final of the Hobart International with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Slovakian Magdelena Rybarikova on Thursday.

Benesova will play fellow Czech Petra Kvitova, who beat Virginie Razzano of France 6-4, 6-2 in the other semifinal.

The two finalists share the same coach, David Kotyza, and will comprise the first all-Czech WTA final since 2005.

The 25-year-old Benesova dominated play from the opening game in gusty conditions.

"I'm pretty happy, but it was very difficult in the wind. There was no tactic at all, just trying to move a lot around the ball and keep it in the court," Benesova said.

Benesova, ranked No. 41, reached the Hobart final in 2006, losing 6-2, 6-1 to Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands in the tuneup tournament ahead of next week's Australian Open.

"I remember my last final here, it wasn't very nice. I think I won like three points so I'm hoping things will be better tomorrow," Benesova said.

Benesova has won one WTA title in her career, at Acapulco in 2004.

"I don't know who my opponent will be. With Petra Kvitova we have the same coach so it will be difficult if we play against each other," Benesova said earlier.

Kvitova, 18, said she would be nervous playing her "very good friend" in her first WTA final because "we are all here as one team."

The No. 60-ranked Kvitova, who reached the fourth round at the French Open last year and also beat Venus Williams in Memphis, said she wouldn't call on coach Kotyza in the final.

"I don't think he will be here tomorrow," Kvitova joked.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press