STANFORD, Calif. (www.mubadalasvc.com) – Angelique Kerber’s successful main draw tournament debut has reached its final step, advancing to Sunday’s title match at the 2014 Bank of the West Classic.
Kerber rallied for a 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 victory over Varvara Lepchenko on Saturday night in the semifinals and will play for the championship against 17-time Grand Slam champion and World No. 1 Serena Williams. Kerber has won three career WTA titles, with the most recent coming at Linz in 2013.
Lepchenko, playing in only her second career semifinal, appeared poised to reach a WTA final for the first time since turning pro in 2001. After winning the first set 6-4, Lepchenko had already built a 5-2 advantage in the second set.
Then came the turning point, as Kerber rattled off three straight games to tie the match at 5-5. Lepchenko held serve to move ahead 6-5, only to see Kerber do the same and eventually win the tiebreaker after trailing 4-2.
Riding all the momentum, Kerber seized a 4-1 lead in the third set and never looked back in a match that required two hours and 39 minutes to complete.
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ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: The Bank of the West Classic is the longest-running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world and is the first stop of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. Owned and operated by IMG, the WTA Premier event features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $710,000. Held on Stanford University’s campus at Taube Family Tennis Stadium since 1997, former champions include: Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.
ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: Founded in 1874, $68 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with 190,000 employees.
ABOUT THE EMIRATES AIRLINE US OPEN SERIES: Now in its 11th season, the Emirates Airline US Open Series continues to serve as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking eight summer tournaments to the US Open. Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams won the 2013 US Open and Emirates Airline US Open Series men’s and women’s titles, each earning a record tennis paycheck of $3.6 million. Roger Federer (2007) and Kim Clijsters (2005) also accomplished the feat of winning the Emirates Airline US Open Series and US Open singles title within the same year.