Ivanovic, Kleybanova to play for Bali crown

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:36 PM ET

BALI, Indonesia - Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and Russia's Alisa Kleybanova won semifinal matches Saturday and will play for the title at the WTA Tournament of Champions.

Ivanovic advanced to Sunday's final with a 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2 victory over Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm, while Kleybanova cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova.

Celebrating her 23rd birthday on Saturday, Ivanovic quickly fell behind by losing the first three games and Date Krumm opened a 5-3 lead in the first set. Ivanovic, though, won the next six games to claim the opening set and grab a 2-0 lead in the second.

Date Krumm saved a match point late in the second set to force a tiebreaker and rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the tiebreak to send the match to a decisive third set. Ivanovic, however, regrouped and broke serve in the first game of the final set and broke again in the seventh before holding serve to finish the nearly 2 1/2-hour match.

"It was a tough match, physically and mentally," said Ivanovic. "The rhythm on my serve wasn't there in the beginning, but I managed to stay calm and win that first set. I had match point in the second set but she played really well in that game, and I'm just happy to win in the end."

Kleybanova needed just 71 minutes to win her semifinal. She lost three of the first four games, but stormed back to win 11 of the final 12.

Ivanovic and Kleybanova have split six lifetime meetings, including four matchups this year alone. Kleybanova won the first two, including a 6-3, 6-0 thumping in the second round of the French Open in May, but Ivanovic has claimed the last two.

Sunday's final will be the second for Ivanovic this year. The former world No. 1 captured the title in Linz just three weeks ago for her ninth career WTA crown and first in two years.

Kleybanova's only two WTA titles came earlier this year -- at Kuala Lumpur in March and Seoul in September.

The winner will collect a first prize of $210,000.


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