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Top-seeded Kerber, Ivanovic reach final in Linz

10/12/2013 9:49:00 AM

LINZ, Austria (AP) - Two-time former champion Ana Ivanovic defeated Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland 6-4, 6-4 Saturday to set up a final against top-seeded Angelique Kerber at the Generali Ladies.

Kerber overpowered Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-2, 6-0 to reach her second final of the season. The 10th-ranked German was beaten by Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic in the Tokyo final two weeks ago.

``Apart from the first set of my first match, everything is going very well this week,'' said Kerber, referring to her 0-6, 6-1, 6-2 first-round win over Monica Niculescu.

The former top-ranked Ivanovic won the event in 2008 and `10 and holds nine more WTA titles, but this will be the Serb's first final of the season.

Ivanovic is 3-1 against Kerber, but the German won their most recent match in straight sets in Tokyo last month. Kerber is eyeing her third career title.

``It wasn't an easy draw for me, so I am happy to get though,'' said Ivanovic, who also didn't concede a set in the previous rounds against Yanina Wickmayer, Francesca Schiavone and Dominika Cibulkova. ``I am still looking for more consistency.''

The opening set against Voegele went with serve until Ivanovic broke her 58th-ranked opponent in the ninth game. Ivanovic dropped serve early in the second set but dominated the remainder of the match.

Voegele upset second-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States in the quarterfinals.

Earlier, Kerber used two breaks for a 3-2 lead in the opening set against Suarez Navarro and didn't concede a game afterward. Kerber dominated with strong ground strokes, forcing Suarez Navarro into 16 baseline errors.

``I feel better with every round,'' Kerber said. ``Today I was more aggressive than in my previous matches.''

The fourth-seeded Suarez Navarro, who hadn't lost a set getting to the semifinals, defeated Kerber in the fourth round of the U.S. Open last month.

Kerber was given a late wild-card entry in Linz to replace Kvitova after the former Wimbledon champion pulled out with a back injury.

By reaching the semifinals, Kerber secured the eighth and final spot in the season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul.