26 June, 2017
(Mike Egerton/PA via AP). Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova in action against Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova during their semifinal match at the Birmingham Classic tennis tournament at Edgbaston Priory, Birmingham, England.
Petra Kvitova completed an emotional Aegon Classic victory to seal her first WTA Tour title since being subjected to a career-threatening knife attack previous year.
After falling in the first set, Kvitova raced out to a dominating 5-1 lead in the second set before closing it out 6-3 to force the deciding set.
Although brief, it was a useful outing for Kvitova, who once more hit the ball with pace and accuracy with her ground strokes.
And, to cap off an incredible tournament for Barty, she will partner Casey Dellacqua in the doubles final against Hao-ching and Chan Shuai Zhang.
"It was very close, but I played better than I did before. I am not feeling any pain, and that's the best news". "It's very frustrating because she was playing a great match". Even so her initial comeback in 2016 was interrupted by injury, so this actually her first tilt at a full season.
"I couldn't have imagined having a better comeback than I am having now".
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We had that huge run in the second quarter, which changed everything". "You've got to call Kevin Durant a champ now". After back-to-back blowouts, the Warriors were 4-point road favorites in Game 3 in Cleveland.
From then on, however, the set had been a monolog from Kvitova, who left little or nothing to her opponent on her way to win the match.
The first game still showed a Kvitova who had yet to find her rhythm; from 40-0 up, she lost three points in a row - including a double-fault - and brought the game to deuce.
"I know what it feels like to retire", the sixth-seeded Muguruza said during her on-court interview after getting the 4-6, 6-4, retired win.
When asked how she rated her chances of a third Wimbledon title, she insisted: 'I've just played one match in three sets. "I like big matches, and I've missed it over the last six months. So this is quite a dream".
Petra Kvitova has qualified for her first final since her career-threatening stabbing. In the victory, Barty won 69 percent of her first serve points and 57 percent of her second serve points.
The 27-year-old, though, has slowly built up her confidence again following a return to competitive tennis and is looking to continue her momentum in what is only a second tournament after her enforced six-month break. But Barty gained adrenaline and self-belief from her second set success, and five games in a row from 0-1 in the final set effectively decided the outcome. "I played four matches already, so it's a good record and good preparation for the final".
It's pretty remarkable how well Kvitova's recovered, and how she's managed to keep her focus so positive despite the very bad injury she suffered. "She was very smart with the slice, which I think is a hard shot on the grass".