By Ros Satar at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart

  • Petra Kvitova [3] def. Anett Kontaveit [8] 6-3 7-6(2)
  • Kvitova breaks the cycle of a different tournament in 2019 as she adds this to her Sydney title earlier this year
STUTTGART, GERMANY –  Petra Kvitova edged Anett Kontaveit to become the first WTA two-time champion this season, winning her 27th title at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.

 

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The Match: Petra Kvitova [3] def. Anett Kontaveit [8] 6-3 7-6(2)

After an aggressive start by Anett Kontaveit, bringing up immediate break points against Petra Kvitova, there was little to separate them before Kvitova struck back with a single break point chance to take a lead.

It was not even as though Kontaveit was playing badly, and her frustration at not being able to disrupt Kvitova’s rhythm was evident in her coaching time-out with Nigel Sears, who urged her to try and have more of her own way against the two-time Grand Slam champion,

Some monstrous serving was starting to make heavy blows into the score-line pulling Kontaveit out wide, and then picking her spots in the open court solidly as she took the first set with ease.

The second set was a lot more ‘cat and mouse’ with the pair trading breaks twice before settling back on level terms. There might have been the odd loose game from Kvitova, but she was serving out the big points when she needed to, putting Kontaveit under pressure and drawing out errors from her.

The Estonian was, however, keeping her own positivity up – Kvitova had remarked that she had improved her mentality a lot, and within the context of the tournament, there had been little to separate them overall in their stats.

READ MORE | By the Numbers – How Kvitova & Kontaveit match up ahead of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Final

Scoreboard pressure began to tell as suddenly Kvitova looked shaky again. Twice Kontaveit held a set point, and twice, Kvitova pulled out a winner and with an unfortunate twist Kontaveit took a small tumble as Kvitova held on for 5-5.

Even though Kontaveit steadied herself after that to force a tie-break, Kvitova ran away with the tie-break. Kontaveit, to her credit kept scrapping for every point, but when the Czech is seeing the ball like a football, there is little than can be done, as Kvitova closed out a straight sets win.

 

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Kontaveit ‘Moving in the right direction’

Anett Kontaveit of Estonia before the final of the 2019 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Anett Kontaveit of Estonia before the final of the 2019 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix | Jimmie48 Tennis Photographyt

It has not gone unnoticed, not least by Kvitova in the build up to the final, that Kontaveit has improved a lot in the last few years and especially after 2018 where she reached four WTA singles finals having won her first title in her breakout year in 2017 at Den Bosch.

Clay could be a good period for her. In 2018 she reached the fourth round of Roland Garros, and reached the semi-finals in Rome and Stuttgart.

So what was she happiest with, and what can we look forward to for the rest of this season?

“I think I’ve gained some confidence, taken some good wins, played good tennis, so I’m definitely going into Madrid confident.

“I feel like from Indian Wells, the way I’ve progressed and the way I’ve been feeling about my game I do feel like I’m on the right track. My goal is to get to the top 10 and I feel like it’s definitely moving in the right direction.”

 

Kvitova Flying Solo: ‘I really had to push myself’

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic before the final of the 2019 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic before the final of the 2019 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

With coach Jiri Vanek, and trainer David Vydra taking a week off, Kvitova was accompanied by friends, and spoke about how she worked out the puzzles of her first week on the clay for herself.

“You know when I don’t have my coaches, I’m not really looking to the box as much a normal. It’s just about me and myself, and thinking about myself. I really had to push myself [in] tough times during the week. I think the more difficult was the beginning of the week when I played my first and second on the clay.

“As  said I need to have more matches to get used to the clay. I think yesterday and today I was fine but for sure the toughest one was the first set against Anastasija Sevastova and since then I think that I really find a good rhythm. I served pretty well, I didn’t make so many double faults. I think today I was up and down a little bit as well. I just really had to push myself to play more aggressive and not really giving her time to do her job.”

Kvitova will not be defending her Prague title, but is scheduled to start her Madrid defence on 5 May.

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