Petra Kvitova progresses to semi-finals in Birmingham as she continues comeback
Jun 25, 2017, 01:51
And Muguruza's semi-final opponent, Australian Ashleigh Barty will also be well-rested, Italy's Camila Giorgi withdrawing from their match at 5-2 down in the first set. But she double-faulted twice when she was trying to close out the match, allowing Mladenovic to eventually even the second set at 5-5. But Barty gained adrenaline and self-belief from her second set success, and five games in a row from 0-1 in the final set effectively decided the outcome. I was just thinking about my game, and yeah, I'm sorry for her that she's unhealthy, but I hope she will be better soon.
Barty was ranked at 271 at the start of the year, won her first career title in March in Kuala Lumpur, and has become the first Aussie finalist here in 25 years.
"It's tough to play against a friend like Lucie", Kvitova said. I love playing finals, I like big matches, and I've missed it over the last six months.
"I couldn't have imagined to have a better comeback than I am having now".
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Safarova had had to battle like a trooper to reach this stage, saving match points against both Dominika Cibulkova, the third seed, and Daria Gavrilova, the ninth seed from Australia, and by the end of a first set lasting only 26 minutes it was clear her resources were seriously depleted.
Kvitova and Mladenovic exchanged breaks to start, and the two-time Wimbledon victor took control from there, dropping just three points behind her first serve to clinch the opening set.
Though Kvitova is not yet fully recovered she showed encouraging sings with a win over world number 12 Mladenovic 6-4 7-6 (7/5), looking dominant for the most part.
Kvitova will next face Lucie Safarova, someone she has known since childhood in the Czech Republic.
Vandeweghe injured a foot in her opening match which, she said, contributed to a fall in the second set against Muguruza.
Asked if the comeback had gone better than expected, she replied: "Yes". With a serve that's just been flawless out of the gate, Kvitova is showing that she has the potential to return to the top-10 rather quickly. "But, for me, so far, great rounds on grass courts".
The tournament's other Grand Slam victor, Muguruza, reached the semifinals for only her third time this year and the first on grass since reaching the final of Wimbledon almost two years ago.
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