Petra Kvitova wins the Mutua Madrid Open title for a third time - UBITENNIS
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Petra Kvitova wins the Mutua Madrid Open title for a third time



Mutua Madrid Open - Day Eight


Petra Kvitova (

Petra Kvitova is the Mutua Madrid Open champion for a record breaking third time after finally seeing off the spirited challenge of Kiki Bertens 7-6 (6) 4-6 6-3 after 2 hours and 52 minutes of mercurial tennis.

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova (

Having missed out on playing last year while recovering from surgery to her left hand following a stabbing incident by an intruder in her home at the end of 2016, Kvitova’s return as Madrid Open champion could hardly have been any sweeter.

It was not a match of the highest quality, maybe the cool and breezy conditions had something to do with it. Kvitova, seeded and ranked 10, made 58 unforced errors and 39 winners, while the unseeded Bertens was a little less erratic with 48 unforced errors and 32 winners. In the end, the better player won, but she made heavy weather of it.

The one and only time these two had faced off, Kvitova totally destroyed Bertens 6-1 6-0 on the lush grass courts of Wimbledon in 2015 in a mere 36 minutes. Today’s marathon encounter could hardly have been any more different.

Kvitova was all too often ending points with a winner or an unforced error, with Bertens playing the more consistent and balanced percentage tennis.

Both players had break point chances early on, but it was Bertens who broke first to move 4-2 ahead when an errant Kvitova forehand went wide. Kvitova broke straight back however, and with games going with serve thereafter, the set would be settled by a tiebreak.

Kvitova found herself two set points up after a couple of unforced errors from her opponent, and although she was unable to close it out as Bertens fought her way back to parity, the Czech left hander screamed in relief and elation when a Bertens backhand found the net on the third set point. The Dutch woman tossed her racket across the court in disgust at the loss of the 74 minute set which she could well have won.

At the changeover, Kvitova finally decided to put on a long sleeved sweater to counter the cold conditions, and she suddenly began to play more consistently off the ground and on serve. As the sliding roof closed overhead, Kvitova held serve in the fifth game saving two break points, but it seemed as if the warmer indoor conditions suited Bertens more as the Dutch woman began to play more purposefully. She broke the Kvitova serve in the seventh game as the Czech went long on her forehand. She held serve from there, closing out the set 6-4 with an ace.

As in the first set, both women had early break point chances in the opening games of the final set, but failed to capitalise. Kvitova broke for 4-2 when Bertens double faulted after the Czech had set up the break point with a forehand pass that clipped the sideline. Kvitova’s jubilation was short lived as she immediately dropped serve when she drove a backhand into the net to the Dutch woman’s delight, after Bertens had set up the break point with a perfectly executed backhand drop shot winner.

In the next game, Kvitova set up two break points with a humdinger of a forehand winner up the line, she failed to convert, but got a third chance which Bertens saved with an ace. She finally broke on a fourth opportunity and served for the match at 5-3. She wasted no time in closing out the match to love as Bertens mistimed backhand found the tramlines.

“It feels sweet and weird as well”, Kvitova said when asked by a reporter how it felt to return as a three – time champion after not being able to play last year. “I didn’t really expect that, even (after) the same time last year and even coming after winning Prague last week, I didn’t really think that I could be in the final and winning the trophy back to back. My body is very exhausted so I’m pretty surprised that my body could handle it somehow. Every title feels great, winning three times here in Madrid means something, it’s not really happening every day, so I’m very proud of myself.”

“It’s great to see her playing so well”, Kvitova said concerning Bertens. “She’s a great person and I really like her. It’s nice to see her playing like that. The last time we played on the grass it was a little bit different. She has improved a lot and she loves to play on clay. She just won Charleston and I remember when she is playing Roland Garros, she is always playing great. Obviously, she has a forehand with a lot of topspin which puts her opponent so far behind the baseline which makes it very difficult to put pressure on her and she can do whatever she wants with her forehand and she moves a player so well and she has great hands, so she can do a lot of slices and drops shots. She has a great body serve, and when she is at the net she has almost won the point and she hardly ever misses. So she is really difficult to play on the clay and now those matches on the clay are really  painful. She is finding her serve as well in the important moments and speed wise it’s a great serve and with the kick on the second serve. She is moving very well and she is sliding to the shots and putting the ball back like a metre from the baseline. It’s difficult to do anything from those balls.”

Kvitova announced that she would not play Rome.

“I’m pretty exhausted so I need to pull out from Rome”, she said. Like wonder given her heroics over the past two weeks, winning Prague and Madrid back to back on her least favourite surface. However, she still refuses to consider herself a title contender at Roland Garros. “I’ve been to the semi-final there one year and probably I can play well there, but I know how really tough it is. Winning Prague and here has made me very happy, but on the other hand it’s a Grand Slam and it’s a different story. Different atmosphere and different balls. I will try and play better than the last time, but I don’t want to put any pressure on myself anyway. I think there are maybe better players playing on the clay, so we’ll see what happens over there.

Bertens had come so close to winning the biggest title of her life, but she gave it everything she had and lost to the better player in the end.

I think it was a great final”, Bertens said. “I think in the beginning we were both a little bit nervous and trying to find our games. I think it was really a good fight back from me in the second set and I played really well. Then I had some chances at the beginning of the third set but I didn’t take it. But Petra was playing some unbelievable shots there, so credit to her today.”

I think I can be really proud of myself and seeing where I am coming from. Just playing at the level that I played today was quite OK for such a big final, I think I made pretty big steps in that. Of course it really hurts right now, I think you can see that, but maybe tomorrow or nest week, or in a few weeks I can really look back on a great week and know I’m on the right way.”





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Naomi Osaka Vows To Be ‘Stronger Than Ever’ In 2021 Following Suspension Of The Olympics

The former world No.1 has given her reaction to decision to delay the four-year sporting event due to the covid-19 pandemic.



Two-time grand slam champion Naomi Osaka has said she is ‘disappointed’ but supports the decision to delay this year’s Summer Olympic Games.


Earlier in the week it was confirmed that the Tokyo games will now take place during the next year with a date to be confirmed. Making it the first time the Olympics have been suspended until the following year in its 124-year history. Although the games have been cancelled three times before during the first and second world wars.

Osaka had been one of the athletes authorities have used to promote the event. Featuring in a promotional campaign that also included a video. The 22-year-old is the first Asian player in history to become world No.1 in tennis. Despite the delay, she has committed to playing in the event next year.

“Everyone knows how much the Olympics means to me and how proud I will be to participate in my home country,” Osaka wrote on Twitter.
“Of course, I am disappointed that it won’t happen this year but we’ll all be ready to stronger ever in 2021! I support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s brave decision and the IOC 100%. Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time not now,” she added.

The world No.10 has called for the world to unite in the fight against the coronavirus. There have been more than 660,000 cases of the virus worldwide, according to John Hopkins University. The disease is particularly dangerous to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

“This is the time for people from all countries, backgrounds and races to rally together to save as many lives as we can. To me, that is the Olympic spirit. To the people of Japan: stay strong, hang in there, and let’s the show the world our beautiful country when time is right in 2021,” said Osaka.

Osaka pledged full allegiance to Japan in 2019 after having dual citizenship in according to a national law. She was born and is currently based in America, but has a Japanese mother and Haitian father.

Prior to the suspension of the WTA Tour, Osaka has started her 2020 with a win-loss record of 5-3 (including Fed Cup). She reached the semifinals of the Brisbane International before losing to Karolina Pliskova. Then at the Australian Open, she was knocked out in the third round by Coco Gauff.

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Retirement Still On For Carla Suarez Navarro, But Will She End Her Career This Year?

The former top 10 player speaks out about her plans in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.



Last December Carla Suarez Navarro stated that she will hang up her racket later this year for good. Then came along something that nobody saw coming.


The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world of tennis to a standstill with all tournaments suspended until June. Completely wiping out the entire European clay-court swing and triggering the French Open being played in September. For Suarez Navarro, it has also ruined her plans of saying goodbye at her home tournament in Madrid where she would have made her 10th and final appearance.

Like many around the world, Suarez Navarro is housebound in Las Palmas, where she is staying with her parents. In her home country of Spain there have been more than 2000 deaths due to the Coronavirus. It is a far from ideal scenario for the Spaniard, who is currently staying in a flat with little training. However, she is still hoping to say her goodbye to the sport in 2020.

“As of today I am not considering it, I said that 2020 would be my last year and it will be almost 100% that way.” Suarez Navarro told Mundo Deportivo.
“We will see if we can play more tennis or not this year, my favourite tournaments have been cancelled and I will not be able to say goodbye for the last time in a few Olympics because they will surely be cancelled.’
“If it (the WTA Tour) were not played more in 2020, I would see a possibility of being able to say goodbye in Madrid 2021.” She added.

Peaking at a high of sixth in the world, the 31-year-old has won two WTA titles during her career out of 11 final appearances. One of which was a Premier 5 event at the 2016 Qatar Open. She has also reached the quarter-final of seven grand slams, including both the Australian Open and US Open in 2018.

“At the moment I have not been able to say goodbye to some tournaments that for me were very special, we will see what happens from now on with tennis tournaments.” She said.

Due to the uncertainty of current events, it is unclear as to when Suarez Navarro and her rivals will return to action. At present both the ATP and WTA are looking into restructuring their calendar following the changing of the French Open dates. A decision that has been criticised by the world No.68.

“I was stunned when I read it, but it was normal for something like this to happen with what was happening around the world.” She commented about the decision taken by the French Tennis Federation.
“I think the most appropriate thing was to say that it was postponed but not to directly put dates that do not fit very well in our calendar. As I said, what happens in a few months, we do not know today.”

Suarez Navarro has recorded 28 wins over top 10 players throughout her career.

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French Open Champion Ash Barty Reacts To Tournament Date Change

The 23-year-old Australian says she is unfazed about when the tournament will be taking place.



World No.1 Ash Barty has vowed to defend her title at the French Open whenever it takes place amid the recent fallout concerning the grand slam.


Earlier this week the French Tennis Federation (FFT) confirmed the tournament will be delayed until the last week of September due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will now take place a week after the US Open and is currently set to clash with the Laver Cup. Players and even some tennis officials have criticised the FTT for a lack of communication regarding their plans.

Speaking out about the situation, reigning champion Barty said that she is yet to speak with tournament director Guy Forget. It had been previously reported that the men’s champion, Rafael Nadal, was personally contacted about the date change. Nevertheless, the Australian said she hopes that she will have the chance to defend her title later this year.

“I haven’t spoken to Guy Forget but I’m happy to play the tournament whenever it is scheduled,” Barty told the Australian Associated Press.
“I hope I get the chance to defend my title in September – any opportunity to compete is something I’ll grab with both hands.
“There are more important things going on in the world right now, though, and I will do whatever helps keep us all safe and healthy.”

It was at Roland Garros, where the 23-year-old won her first and so far only grand slam title. Last year she dropped only two sets in eight matches en route to the title. Becoming the first player from her country to win the tournament since Margaret Court back in 1973.

Barty will remain at the top of the WTA rankings for the next three months after they have been frozen by the governing body. In a joint-decision, the WTA and ATP have suspended all tournaments until June 7th due to the pandemic. Urging the world of tennis to unite in what was an indirect swipe at the FFT and their decision about the French Open.

“Now is not a time to act unilaterally, but in unison. All decisions related to the impact of the coronavirus require appropriate consultation and review with the stakeholders in the game, a view that is shared by ATP, WTA, ITF, AELTC, Tennis Australia, and USTA.” The statement said.

So far this year, Barty has won 11 out of 14 matches played on the tour. Winning the Adelaide International back in January. Five out of her 11 wins were over top 20 players.

Should there be no further delay to the tour calendar, then next women’s events set to take place are in Nottingham and ‘s-Hertogenbosch on grass.

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