Czech Kvitova captures New Haven title
Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova claimed her second title of the season by beating Maria Kirilenko 7-6, 7-5 in the final of the WTA Tour’s New Haven Open on Saturday.
The 22-year-old second-seeded Czech earned her ninth singles title by hammering seven aces and winning 56 per cent of her first-serve points in the two hour, seven minute match.
The hardcourt tournament served as a tune-up for the US Open which begins today in New York.
Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011, outlasted Kirilenko in a marathon opening set that took more than an hour. She then rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the second by winning five consecutive games.
“In the tie-break I just played point by point – I wasn’t thinking about the score,” Kvitova said.
“In the end it was pretty close and I’m really glad I won it.”
“After that, I was down physically, without energy,” she added.
“It seemed like I was walking, not running. I made a lot of mistakes and went 5-2 down but then I tried not to think about my shots or tactics and started putting the ball into the court more.”
Saturday’s final came just weeks after the two met in the quarter-finals of the London Olympic women’s singles tournament, where Kirilenko won in straight sets.
“Even though I lost I still feel positive,” said Kirilenko, who was hurt by seven double faults.
“I played really well all week. I played a good match today. Unfortunately, I was unlucky in the final here.”
Kvitova earned her first title of 2012 with a victory over China’s Li Na in Montreal earlier this month. She earned $107,000 for her win.
Kvitova has secured the top spot in the US Open Series standings as a result of her performance in the tournaments heading into the final Grand Slam of the season.
That gives her a chance to collect a $1 million bonus if she wins the US Open.
She’s seeded fifth at the Open and will play her first-round match against Slovenia’s Polona Hercog today.
“It’s unbelievable – I played three tournaments in a row and won two,” Kvitova said.
“I’ve played a lot of matches and I’m feeling more relaxed and confident on the court. I hope all of this will continue into the US Open.”