Petra Kvitova looking to Wimbledon after comeback title win at Birmingham Classic
Jun 26, 2017, 01:26
Petra Kvitova described winning the Aegon Classic title as "a fairy tale" just six months after a career-threatening stabbing incident at her home.
"It was just nice to get a couple of good matches and it's nice to be able to come up against top players leading into a slam (Wimbledon) and try and test myself against the world's best", Barty said. But the 27-year-old Czech not only looked untroubled by her hand this week but also looked back to her best with her explosive serve often too much for Barty as she produced 13 aces.
Kvitova seized control of the decider as she broke immediately then pressured the Barty serve again, only for the momentum to swing again as Barty broke back to level at 2-2. Barty was off to a ideal start, dropping just 1 point in the first 4 service games, and she scored a break in the 3rd game to open up a 5-3 lead.
She then decided to make her return to the tennis court 12 months ago at the 50k ITF tournament in Eastbourne where she managed to reach the semi-finals.
The twice former Wimbledon champion showed few signs of the appalling knife injuries to her playing hand in a thoroughly one-sided victory by 6-1 1-0 retired, which happened when Safarova, who had had two huge matches in the previous three days, pulled out with a thigh strain.
But she has shown at Edgbaston that she is building up her form nicely before her return to Wimbledon, where she triumphed in 2011 and 2014.
Muguruza won 4-6 6-4 30-love, though she took pleasure in again having achieved a good rhythm on a surface which is not the most natural for her.
But on Friday was Kvitova's turn to receive the applause, as she revealed that many parts of her incisive grass court game are in working order and that many things may still be possible despite enduring problems with the injured hand. "It was just about one or two points and one or two breaks", said Kvitova. She worked her way to becoming a professional cricketer and did really well as she went on to play or the Brisbane Heat in the Women's Big Bash League.
From the start Kvitova's serving was nearly always rock solid, finding the lines and the angles but with Safarova struggling to push off a heavily strapped leg there would have always been one victor.
"I think she played very well", Muguruza said of Barty in her post-match press conference.
Barty, an accomplished doubles player, has been making good progress in singles this year, winning the first WTA title of her career last February, and Kvitova was far from complacent at the prospect of facing her.
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