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Kerber to face confident Pavlyuchenkova in Monterrey Open summit clash

Mar 29, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Angelique Kerber of Germany hits a backhand against Venus Williams of the United States (not pictured) on day nine of the 2017 Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center. Williams won 7-5, 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Johannesburg [South Africa]: World No. 1 Angelique Kerber will face a daunting task against three-time champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to clinch the Monterrey Open title, her first WTA title of 2017, on Sunday.

Kerber defeated fourth-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6 (8/6), 6-1 in Saturday’s semi-finals to make it to her first WTA final of this year.

On the other hand, seeded second Pavlyuchenkova from Russia defeated third-seeded Caroline Garcia of France 6-2, 6-4 to set up the title clash against the German.

Kerber, a two-time Grand Slam champion who regained the world number one ranking in March as American Serena Williams was sidelined by injury, will look to avenge her loss to Pavlyuchenkova in the 2013 Monterrey final.

“I’m happy to be in the finals here in Monterrey for the second time,” Sport24 quoted Kerber as saying.

The German, who had earlier ousted defending champion Heather Watson in the quarter-finals to set up the last four contest against Navarro, said she is looking forward to playing Anastasia.

“I think it will be a great atmosphere out here and I will try to enjoy the final and try to win it, of course,” she added.

However, Pavlyuchenkova also exuded confidence ahead of the title clash, saying, “I feel like this tournament I’ve been playing better and better with every match.” (ANI)