Petra Kvitova Makes Excellent Start In Miami - UBITENNIS
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Petra Kvitova Makes Excellent Start In Miami

Petra Kvitova got her Miami Open campaign off to a flyer with a straight-sets win over Maria Sakkari.

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Petra Kvitova showed why she is one of the favourites for the Miami Open title with an emphatic 6-1 6-4 victory over Maria Sakkari.

 

The Czech, 29, took full advantage of a poor start from her Greek opponent as she won the opening set in just 25 minutes.

Sakkari improved in the second set. She earned an early break to move 2-0 up. However, Kvitova responded like the champion she is to win the next four games and turn the set on its head. The Czech then held serve twice more to secure her serene passage into round three.

“I had to work hard in the second set when Maria came back a little bit stronger,” Kvitova said in her on-court interview.

“I love that blue (colour of the new court) so it’s made me really happy to play on it. It’s such a nice venue here.”

Kvitova’s fans will be relieved to hear that she likes the new venue. And they will be hoping the Czech can perform better at the Hard Rock Stadium than she did at the previous venue in Crandon Park. Her best run there was in 2014 when she lost to Maria Sharapova in the quarter-final.

Kvitova faces tough road ahead

Whether Kvitova is thinking about it or not, there is a lot at stake this week in Miami. If the World No.2 wins the event, she has a great chance of overtaking Naomi Osaka at the top of the rankings.

Admittedly, the Czech has a very tough draw, so she may have to beat some high-quality opponents in the next few rounds.

She could play Donna Vekic, who beat her 6-4 6-1 in St Petersburg, in round three. Then she is almost certain to face a tough encounter in round four against one of Julia Goerges, Caroline Garcia, Magdalena Rybarikova or Victoria Azarenka.

If Kvitova gets through that section, she may have to take on Ashleigh Barty, Madison Keys, Kiki Bertens or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the last eight.

The potential semi-final that awaits the Czech is mouth-watering. If the top half follows the seedings, she will have to prepare herself for a rematch of the Australian Open final against Osaka.

Although it is difficult to imagine a much tougher draw for any player, Kvitova is capable of beating this formidable line-up of WTA stars.

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Rebecca Peterson clinches her maiden WTA title

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Twenty-four year-old Swedish player Rebecca Peterson lifted the first title of her career at the Jangxi Open in Nanchang after beating Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 6-2 6-0.

 

The world number 78 Petterson, who had reached only a quarter final so far this season, has become the 14th first-time winner on the WTA Tour so far in 2019.

Peterson reeled off nine consecutive games from 3-2 in the first set to clinch the win, breaking serve four times.

Peterson dropped only nine points in her service games and did not face any break points. The Swede earned her first break in the first game after a double fault from Rybakina. Peterson consolidated the break by holding serve at love and opened up a 4-2 lead, when Rybakina sent a forehand long.

Peterson broke serve in the seventh game to race out to a 5-2 lead, as Rybakina made a backhand error. Peterson sealed the first set with a forehand crosscourt winner in the eighth game.

Peterson earned an early break, after Rybakina sent a forehand long, and went up a 3-0 lead. Rybakina did not win a single game point and sent Petersen to deuce in the fifth game of the second set, but she dropped serve. Petersen wrapped up the match with a bagel thanks to a service winner on her first championship point.

Rybakina, who scored two three-set wins against Viktoria Golubic in the quarter final and Peng Shuai in the semifinal, hit 3 winners to 11 unforced errors. She had won her maiden title in Bucharest last July.

 

 

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Karolina Pliskova lifts her fourth title of the season in Zhengzhou

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Number 1 seed Karolina Pliskova cruised past number 7 seed Petra Martic 6-3 6-2 after 1 hour and 36 minutes in the final of the Zhengzhou Open, an inaugural WTA Premier tournament. The final was postponed by six hours after torrential rain.

 

Pliskova came back from 0-2 in the first set by winning 12 of the next 15 games to win her fourth title this season after Brisbane, Rome and Eastbourne. The Czech player is the fifth top seed to win a tournament this season after Aryna Sabalenka in Shenzhen, Alison Van Uytvanck in Budapest, Caroline Garcia in Nottingham and Anastasjia Sevastova in Jurmala.

Pliskova took a re-match against Martic, who beat the Czech player in four of their previous five head-to-head matches and won their third round clash at Roland Garros.

Pliskova saved two of her three break points and converted four of her eight break points.

Martic earned an early break with a forehand return winner to open up a 2-0 lead in the first set. As the match resumed after a rain delay Martic did not convert a double break point. Pliskova broke back in the fourth game with a forehand winner to draw level to 2-2.

Pliskova saved a break point chance in the seventh game with a forehand down the line. The Czech player broke serve in the eighth game, when Martic made a forehand error and sealed the first set 6-3 with a service winner.

Pliskova dropped only six points on her first serve in the second set and broke serve in the third game when Martic sent a backhand slice wide. The former world number 1 player held her serve with an ace before breaking for the second time in the fifth game. She hit four winners to seal the win, as she was serving for the match at 5-2.

“I think I played good matches. Of course, not all the matches were perfect, the week never can be really perfect because it’s so many days and so many things can be just different every day. I beat tough players, which I maybe lost to a couple of times before. I think that was the biggest plus of this week, especially with Petra. These wins are always important. It doesn’t matter where you play, which tournament you play, but it’s always important. To get the trophy is always special. It does not matter really which tournament or how big the tournament is, it’s always good”, said Pliskova.  

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Nao Hibino beats Misaki Doi in all-Japanese final in Hiroshima

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World Number 146 Nao Hibino beat Misaki Doi 6-3 6-2 in the all-Japanese final of Haa-Cupid Japan Open in Hiroshima.

 

Doi broke serve at 15 in the second game with a deep return, but she dropped her serve at love in the third game. Dou earned another break with a forehand to open up a 3-1 lead. Hibino pulled the break back in the fifth game, when Doi sent her backhand long.

Hibino reeled off nine consecutive games from 1-3 down to build up a 6-3 4-0 lead with two consecutive breaks in the seventh and ninth games of the first set and two more breaks in the first and third games of the second set. Doi dropped her serve in six consecutive service games and hit 8 winners to 14 unforced errors. Doi pulled back one break in the fifth game. Hibino broke for the third time at deuce to win the second set 6-2.

Hibino claimed both the singles and the doubles titles at the same tournament for the first time in her career. She teamed up with Doi to clinch the doubles title with a 6-3 4-6 10-4 win over Christina McHale and Valeria Savinykh.

“I was so nervous today, so much more than the semifinals, but because I experienced being nervous in the semifinals, I knew what to expect. I was able to stay positive during the match today”, said Hibino.

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