Petra Kvitova retains Nature Valley Classic title in Birmingham

Paola Ditto
Giugno 25, 2018

In the final, she'll meet Wimbledon semifinal Magdalena Rybarikova who was a 7-6 (1), 6-4 victory over Kvitova's countrywoman Barbora Strycova.

The two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova is yet to drop a set this week as she continues her preparations for next month's grasscourt Grand Slam.

Rybarikova, a grass-court expert whose career was at risk of ending after wrist and knee surgeries, overcame Barbora Strycova 7-6 (1), 6-4 to reach the Birmingham final for a second time.

She saved a match point to extend the duel but Petra completed her win with a hold at love in game eight to wrap up the flawless tournament and show her greatness on grass once again before the third Grand Slam of the season.

"I knew it was going to be a tough match, because she's such a tricky player and she's amazingly talented", Rybarikova, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals a year ago, said on-court after the match. I needed a little bit of time to get used to spins and slices and volleys and whatever she plays just starting a game. When I won the first set, I was really believing I would win this match. I think today was a great final to kind of fight. That's why she won the tournament. So Petra, when she's on fire, you can go shake her hand and say, Okay, I just want to leave from here. The amusing thing is that we played against each other only in semifinals or finals. The fourth seed consistently punishing Rybarikova with her returns to soar into a 3-0 second-set lead.

Kvitova will be joined by the top two players in the world - Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki - and defending champion Karolina Pliskova in Eastbourne, the final tune-up event ahead of Wimbledon, which begins on July 2. I only managed to win one.

But Kvitova proved a different proposition for the remainder of the match, breaking twice in the second set, while only having to save a single break point against her serve.

"Everyone else said, no chance, don't play, give up, but they said, you can try one more time", she said. I was playing little bit more clay court still. "Like I said, she's a really great player and she's the favorite of this match". "I wish I could play more matches, but nothing really worries me".

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