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losangelesnewstoday.com November 18, 2017


Kvitova wins Aegon Classic final for 1st title since attack

26 June 2017, 01:27 | Stacy Ballard

Tennis- WTA Premier- Aegon Classic- Edgbaston Priory Club Birmingham Britain

Tennis- WTA Premier- Aegon Classic- Edgbaston Priory Club Birmingham Britain

Ashleigh Barty will take on two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the final of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham after an upset semi-final win over Spain's Garbine Muguruza.

Kvitova won Wimbledon in 2011 and again in 2014 and will now head into the tournament as one of the favourites given her impressive victory from a strong field in Birmingham.

So well has she been playing that it has become even more significant that this tournament is a Wimbledon warm-up event, for Kivitova is already beginning to suggest she can again do well at the grass court Grand Slam starting in nine days' time.

The 27-year-old 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 yesterday as she produced 13 aces.

"I was just thinking about my game, and yeah, I'm sorry for her that she's unhealthy, but I hope she will be better soon", Kvitova said of Safarova. 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.

Friday's other victor was former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza who got through after unseeded American CoCo Vandeweghe fell and hurt her ankle.

Nevertheless, Petra was focused in game 9, bringing the set home with a comfortable hold, forcing the decider with the momentum on her side. Barty showed great poise after winning a match despite dropping the first set and was quite feisty on the return, producing four breaks.

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That was all she could do, despite having a 4-0 lead in game 5 that could send her in front.

Remarkably, she's playing only her second tournament and only her sixth match since she was attacked in December.

"The hand is good which is the best news I could have, and I am not feeling any pain - and that's the best news", she repeated.

The seventh seed will meet Ashleigh Barty on Sunday after she took the biggest scalp of her career in her semi-final. Kvitova is definitely one of them.

"It's tough to play against a friend like Lucie", Kvitova said. She underwent almost four hours of surgery on her left hand and forearm, and her left hand is still not fully recovered. "I mean not just from my perspective, but I think from everyone, I think it's unbelievable to have her back on the tour, and to be successful straightaway is just phenomenal". Barty has won six of her last seven matches on grass court. "She's making the game, changing direction a lot, slice, some volleys, drop shots".

Vandeweghe injured a foot in her opening match which, she said, contributed to her tumble in the second set.

"It has been a hard time and I wasn't sure if I would play again". I wish I could have more.



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