By Ros Satar, in Birmingham

  • Petra Kvitova [WC/7] def. Naomi Broady [WC] 6-2 6-2
  • Will face winner of Kristina Mladenovic [5] v Shuai Zhang
BIRMINGHAM, UK – No, 7 seed Petra Kvitova reached the Aegon Classic final for the first time, after coasting past Naomi Broady in straight sets.

 

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Petra Kvitova [WC/7] def. Naomi Broady [WC] 6-2 6-2

In the battle of the wildcards and the big servers, it was always going to be a tough ask for current British No. 2 Naomi Broady to go up against the two-time Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova.

The start of the match felt like the Brit was certainly able to go toe-to-toe with Kvitova. Her serving certainly outpaced the Czech in the early exchanges, but Kvitova got the first break, backing that up with a second straight after before serving out confidently to love for the first set.

The pattern was repeated in the second set, with Kvitova pressing Broady to save three break points before finally capitulating on the fourth break point before giving up the second break quite easily. Broady took a lot though from the experience, saying: “She’s won Wimbledon twice so I knew it was going to be a really tough match today.

It’s not necessarily her power that is so difficult, it’s just her placement of the ball, you know any short ball, any slightly softer ball that I hit she just nails into the corner and you’ve just no chance to get to it.

“In terms of going forward she’s definitely someone I’m going to watch myself and try and learn from her what’s she’s doing because she makes you so uncomfortable on the court and you really struggle to know where to hit it, to not give her a winning shot.”

Petra Kvitova/Naomi Broady – 2017 Aegon Classic © Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

Kvitova had certainly done her homework where Brady was concerned for this, their first tour level meeting.

She said: “Actually, I was prepared for that game which she showed today. My coach told me about. So I expected big serve and big forehand with a little bit of slice from there. But I knew I needed to wait for some chance to break her, and I think from that point she was a little bit down in the set always. I knew I have to, you know, keep my serve, that was important and just try to move her a little bit on the court.”

It was hard to believe that this is just Kvitova’s fourth match back since the knife attack that threatened her career. It os also hard to believe that this is the first time she has advanced as far as the quarter-finals here on her third attempt at the tournament.

She continued: “It’s so weird. I always love playing on grass. I think always in the beginning when I started playing some tournaments and first matches on the grass, I always felt like weird and it took me some time to get used to movement and everything. And here, I don’t know. I just came and I played well from the first practice which I had. So I don’t know what is it, but I’m happy for that. I’m not complaining.”

Kvitova will face the winner between Kristina Mladenovic and Zhang Shuai, playing on Thursday.

 

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