Petra Kvitova takes a thrilling three-set final to win her eighth WTA final in a row - UBITENNIS
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Petra Kvitova takes a thrilling three-set final to win her eighth WTA final in a row




Petra Kvitova came back from one set down in her thrilling 1-6 7-5 7-6 (7-3) win over local favourite Ashleigh Barty after 2 hours and 19 minutes to win her second title at the Sydney International and her eighth consecutive final. The number 5 seed lifted the 26th trophy of her career.


Petra Kvitova had beaten Ashleigh Barty in their previous two head-to-head matches at 2012 Roland Garros and in the Birmingham final in 2017 and triumphed in her last seven WTA finals.

Barty converted six of her nine break points and faced just one break point in the first two sets, but it was not enough to beat Kvitova, who clinched her eighth final in a dramatic third set.

Barty dropped four points in her first three service games and got an immediate break in the opening game after Kvitova made two double faults. The Australian player went up a double break with a deep return to build up a 3-0 lead. Kvitova held her first service game at love with an ace in the fifth game to get her first game on the scoreboard for 1-4, but Barty earned her third break to close out the first set 6-1 after 25 minutes.

Barty did not face any break points in her first eight service games of the second set. Both players went on serve until the seventh game, which went to deuce at 3-3. Barty held serve at deuce to take a 4-3 lead. Kvitova came back from 0-30 down in the eighth game to hold serve for 4-4. Kvitova earned a break point at 5-5 with a backhand down the line and converted her chance with her forehand before serving out the second set in the 12th game with a backhand winner on her second set point sending the match to the third set.

Both players stayed neck and neck until the last point in the decisive set. Barty won four straight points on return to break serve in the second game  to take a 2-0 lead and hit an ace to hold a tough service game at deuce. Kvitova pulled back the break in the fifth game at deuce with a backhand winner for 2-3. Kvitova converted her fifth break point chance in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead earning a chance to serve for the match. Barty broke straight back at 15 to draw level to 5-5, but Kvitova got another break for 6-5 to get her second chance to serve for the match. Barty broke straight back again after Kvitova made two consecutive double faults to set up a decisive tie-break. Kvitova got the mini-break with a forehand winner to take a 3-1 lead, but Barty pulled it back to draw level to 3-3 after a double fault from Kvitova. The Czech player hit two backhands to earn three match points at 6-3 and converted her first chance on the 10th point with a running crosscourt forehand winner to extend her winning streak in WTA finals to eight consecutive titles.

“I left everything out there. I was cramping in the end. It was such a great final, to be honest. It was a big fight until the end. That’s the way a final should be”, said Kvitova.

Kvitova clinched her 26th career title and her second win in Sydney four years after her triumph in the 2015 final against her compatriot Karolina Pliskova. Kvitova apologised to the Australian crowd for the defeat of the local star.

“Not to win at home. I feel sorry that she she could not make it today. She put everything out there. She really played a great game. One day you are going to make it for sure. If she plays like this the whole season, there is no chance she will not make the top 10”, said Kvitova in her on-court speech during the award ceremony.   

Barty lost the Sydney final for the second consecutive time one year after her 6-4 6-4 defeat against Angelique Kerber. Despite the disappointment for losing the title match against Kvitova, Barty can look back at a very successful week in which she beat two top-ten players Simona Halep and Kiki Bertens.

“I left everything out here and it was not quite enough”, said Barty after the match.




Simona Halep wins the all Romanian battle in Cluj

Simona Halep is into the second round in Cluj after a dominant performance.




Simona Halep (@TransylvaniaOpn - Twitter)

The world number 18 and the top seed managed to beat her Romanian counterpart in straight sets.


Simona Halep is through round one of the Transylvania Open, being played at the BT Arena in Cluj-Napoca, after beating a fellow Romanian Elena Gabriella Ruse in straight sets 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 13 minutes.

The number one seed served six aces and won 83% of her first serve points in a match that seemed one-sided and Halep was pulling amazing shots and winners throughout the entire match.

“It’s not easy to face a Romanian in the first round of a Romanian tournament but I was very focused and concentrated on what I have to do and I didn’t really think of who I would play, I just wanted to play my game and I felt great on court today.”

It was actually the world 85 with the first breakpoint of the match in the first game but it was denied when Halep stepped up to the service line and fired an ace to save it.

After holding serve the world number 18 started looking for the early lead and she was able to get it after a poor service game from Ruse and after consolidating the break managed to turn it into a double break.

Halep served out the first set in a mere 29 minutes and it was clear she was the better player today.

She continued to ride the momentum into the second set and at 1-1 earned three more chances to break and broke with a stunning return winner that caught Ruse off guard for the 2-1 lead.

At 4-2, the top seed managed to go up a double break with another amazing passing shot and she served out the match and after the match in her post-match press conference, she spoke about pulling off those amazing shots on breakpoints.

“When I have a chance to do it I always do because I love these kinda shots and today it was a great one so it made me very happy.”

Halep will next face the Russian Varvara Gracheva in the next round after she beat the German Andrea Petkovic in three sets 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 on Tuesday night.

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Anett Kontaveit overpowers Krunic in Cluj-Napoca

Anett Kontaveit took a step towards the WTA Finals with a straight sets win in Cluj today.




Anett Kontaveit (@TransylvaniaOpn - Twitter)

The number two seed only needed two sets and 70 minutes to beat her Serbian opponent.


Anett Kontaveit is through to the second round of the Transylvania Open, being played at the BT Arena in Cluj-Napoca, beating the Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and 10 minutes.

The world number 14 served two aces and won 69% of the points on her first serve in a match where she seemed to outhit her opponent using her powerful groundstrokes.

“The match was close and it was only break in the first set and I thought I was playing pretty well and winning a lot of points on my first serve but I actually think she served well and it wasn’t an easy match and the second set got really close”.

The Estonian had the better start to the match holding serve in her opening game and putting pressure on the Serb right away earning two chances to break serve and got the early break to take a 2-0 lead.

That one break was enough for Kontaveitt to serve out the first set and take it 6-3.

The second set was a more competitive affair and it stayed on serve until 2-2 when the Tallinn, Estonia native was able to break the Serb at love to take a 3-2 lead and she was able to consolidate the break.

It stayed on serve until 4-3 when the world number 44 fought back and was able to break the Estonian serve and the set went back on serve. Once again both players did a good job holding serve until 5-5 when Kontaveit got the crucial break of serve and served out the match.

After the match in her post-match press conference, Kontaveit spoke about how she was feeling energy-wise after such a short turnaround time from winning the title in Moscow last week.

” I feel like the energy has dropped a little bit but I did manage to bring some of the energy today and still be active and be aggressive.”

Kontaveit will now face Alison Van Uytvanck in her next match after the Belgian beat Danka Kovinic in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 earlier in the day.

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Emma Raducanu battles back to beat Hercog in Cluj

Emma Raducanu won her first match on the WTA tour after beating Polona Hercog in Cluj.




Emma Raducanu (@usopen - Twitter)

The US Open champion was pushed to the limit in a three-set win over her Slovenian opponent.


Emma Raducanu is through to round two at the Transylvania Open in Cluj-Napoca after beating the Slovenian Polona Hercog in three sets 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in a match that lasted two hours and 27 minutes.

The Brit served four aces and won 75% of her first serve points in a match that went back and forth for all three sets and had a rollercoaster feel to it and it was the first time at tour-level Raducanu played a three-set match.

“I feel really happy to have won that match it was actually very difficult and I wasn’t playing my best tennis but Polona (Hercog) is a great opponent and she is really experienced so I really had to fight hard to pull that one through.”

After holding serve in the opening service game of the match the world number 23 put pressure on Hercog’s serve right away and in a game that lasted 10 minutes, it took the Brit six break points before she was able to get the first break of serve of the match.

It stayed on serve until 4-2 when the world number 124 struck back and managed to get the break back to go back on serve and at 4-4 got the crucial break needed to serve out the first set.

The second set stayed on serve with the 18-year-old getting the first chance to break at 2-1 but Hercog saved all three break points she faced and at 4-4 it was the Slovenian applying pressure and looking for the break.

Raducanu was able to save it and hold serve and at 6-5, she found herself at set point as she managed to win it to force a third and deciding set.

Winning the second set seemed to give the Britt a boost and the motivation to keep fighting and she managed to get the early break to take a 2-0 lead and at 3-0 broke again to go up a double break.

The next game she found herself at match point but the world number 124 was able to save it and the next game Raducanu serve out the match. In her post-match press conference, she spoke about what the key was to turn the match around.

“It feels like a huge win for me and it’s my first WTA tour win which makes me very happy and I think the key was to stay mentally composed and I knew myself I wasn’t playing very well so I just needed to keep going one point at a time and I am really proud of myself how I fought today.”

Raducanu will face a Romanian in her next match on Thursday in Ana Bogden who beat the Serb Ivana Jorovic on Monday and this will be their first-ever meeting.

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