By Ros Satar, in Birmingham

  • Petra Kvitova [4] def. Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 6-2
  • Faces Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova in the final
BIRMINGHAM, UK – Petra Kvitova eased into a second Birmingham final, where she will face Magdalena Rybarikova for the Nature Valley Classic title.

 

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Petra Kvitova [4] def. Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 6-2

Defending champion Petra Kvitova has yet to drop a set here as she cruised past Mihaela Buzarnescu to have a shot at defending a title for the second time in her career. While she was the first to strike with a break in the first set, but was pegged back immediately by the Romanian, but responded straight away to regain the advantage to the end of the set.

The second set quickly slipped away from the Romanian as Kvitova picked up the pace with her second serve especially firing well. Although Buzarnescu had her chances to break in the second set, she could not convert on her chances leaving Kvitova to close in on another title.

She said, after the match: “For sure [she was most happy with] the important points when I need to serve well and play well. When I was, like, two games 15-40, when I faced some breakpoints, that’s probably the best that I can remember from that match. To stay in the game, to serve well, to play well, to turn the game around. I know she’s returning pretty well as she showed today, but in the key points, I serve better. So that was important.”

Magdalena Rybarikova in the quarter-final of the Nature Valley Classic, WTA Birmingham 2018

Magdalena Rybarikova in the quarter-final of the Nature Valley Classic, WTA Birmingham 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

She will be facing good friend Magdalena Rybarikova in the final after the Slovakian defeated another Czech, Barbora Strycova in the semi-final.

Kvitova said: “I think it will be fun for both of us. We are friends. We are watching the football every night. We know each other pretty long already. We spend some years on the tour together. I think we kind of grew in the rankings together.

“We played some doubles, so it was always being fun. She’s a fun girl. She’s playing fun game on the grass as well, tricky game. We practice here once as well. It will be nice. I think it’s nice to see someone who you are friends with in the final.”

On the subject of the World Cup – who was her pick for the big prize? Turns out she might be regretting her choice of Argentina, unless they can turn around their fortunes.

She said: My pick is Argentina. I did it before the tournament. Sorry. I didn’t know. Ronaldo is playing better than Messi, so we’ll see. We had, like, a bet in the Czech newspapers, I did Argentina and player is Messi. So I’m not doing well now. I try to play tennis better (laughing).”

Her clean hitting and serving has been impressive this tournament and she has been solid throughout the week. She said she felt no pressure to defend the title, and she ha tested herself against solid players all week.

The Nature Valley Classic final between Kvitova and Rybarikova is scheduled on the Ann Jones Centre Court, at 1:30pm.

 

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