Tennis: Suarez Navarro reaches Miami final over Petkovic

Carla Suarez Navarro (above) became the first Spanish woman in more than two decades to reach the final of the ATP and WTA Miami Masters with her 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Andrea Petkovic on Thursday. -- PHOTO: AFP
Carla Suarez Navarro (above) became the first Spanish woman in more than two decades to reach the final of the ATP and WTA Miami Masters with her 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Andrea Petkovic on Thursday. -- PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - Carla Suarez Navarro became the first Spanish woman in more than two decades to reach the final of the ATP and WTA Miami Masters with her 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Andrea Petkovic on Thursday.

The last Spaniard to play for the trophy at Crandon Park was two-time champion Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1993, beating Steffi Graf in that final.

Saturday's final against either seven-time winner Serena Williams or world number three Simona Halep will be the biggest career test yet for Suarez Navarro, seeded 12th.

The unstoppable Williams is bidding to win a third straight Miami title and has won her last 16 matches at the venue.

She was to face Halep, winner of the Indian Wells title nearly a fortnight ago, in the second semi-final on Thursday night.

Suarez Navarro, who honed her game in the Canary Islands, came out on top in a loose match, combining with Germany's Petkovic for nearly 60 unforced errors in less than 90 minutes on court.

Suarez Navarro, who is now poised to break into the top 10 in the world rankings, converted three of her 10 break point opportunities and was never in serious trouble.

"I played a good match, an important match like this is difficult," said the winner. "I just tried to play my game and enjoy it.

"Playing this final is an important event for me. I train in the off season in hopes of playing a final like this," added the Spaniard, whose only WTA title came in Portugal last year.

"I am playing good, I'm playing good matches here," she said.

Petkovic hadn't dropped a set in the tournament, conceding just 18 games. She was disappointed that she couldn't produce the same solid form.

"Carla has upped her game in the last year, it's really nice to see," said Petkovic.

"But today was just all about me. I was just very stressed and I was pretty awful throughout the whole match. I tried to fight myself into the match, but there were just so many unforced errors from my side.

"You're not going to win a match at that level at that stage of a tournament with so many unforced errors," Petkovic said.