Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Kvitova wins Aegon Classic final for 1st title since attack

Lucie Safarova Aegon Classic Birmingham Kvitova wins Aegon Classic final for 1st title since attack
Kristopher Love | 27 June, 2017, 08:41

Petra Kvitova, playing in her second tournament since a career-threatening stabbing attack six months ago in a home invasion, rallied from a set down to defeat Ashleigh Barty and claim the Aegon Classic title on Sunday in Birmingham, England.

EASTBOURNE, England Double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has cautioned against making her one of the favorites to lift the title this year despite a stunning return from the hand injury that nearly ended her career.

Meanwhile at the Mallorca Open, a year after finishing runner-up at the inaugural event, Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova went one better in Spain, surviving three tough sets against Julia Goerges to win her first WTA title in seven years, 6-4 3-6 6-3 after two-hours and 14-minutes.

Kvitova's first set loss in the final against Barty was the only set that the No. 7 seed dropped all week in making her way through a field that included nine Top 25 players. "The chances of Petra's hand healing well enough for her to be able to play tennis again were very low".

Kvitova is among the favourites for Wimbledon this year, having previously won in 2011 and 2014. So I have to say I'm kind of proud of myself that I did it today. The incident caused major injuries to her racket-holding left hand as she fought off the intruder.

But in a stunning performance against Barty, Kvitova battled back from losing the first set and stepped up in the second half of the decider to seal victory. "I know I can still win long matches, so I think that's important, as well".

"I think it was a pretty high quality match", Barty said. Of course I would like to play my best at Wimbledon but if I don't then I won't worry', , she told BBC Sport.

"It's so unbelievable to have Petra back on the court. I just believed that I could pull it out and win it", she added. I will not practice for a couple of days, for sure.

"It was such an awesome fight between the both of us and I am so happy that I won", Safarova said.