Petra Kvitova yesterday raced to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Dominika Cibulkova in the Wuhan Open final to capture her first title of the year with a ruthless display of power hitting.
It was a second Wuhan title for the 14th-seeded Czech who will move up to 12th place in the race to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore after a campaign hampered by illness.
The two-time Wimbledon champion, who knocked out world No. 1 Angelique Kerber in the last 16, took a stranglehold on the match from the start, losing one point in the first four games as she blazed through the first set.
Cibulkova, who had won her previous two meetings against Kvitova, played four three-setters in five matches en route to the final and fatigue appeared to catch up with the 10th-seeded Slovak as she managed just two winners in the entire contest.
“Wuhan, it is really one of my favorite cities,” Kvitova was quoted as saying on the WTA Web site.
“It was a great crowd all well, there were some incredible matches for me and I am really happy that I can stand here as a champion again,” she said.
With the first set under her belt, Kvitova refused to take her foot of the gas as she struck 28 winners to coast to victory in a little more than an hour.
Despite her heavy defeat, Cibulkova will move up to a career-high eighth in the world rankings when they are released tomorrow. Kvitova will climb to 11th.
In the doubles, Taiwan’s Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan bowed out of the competition on Friday after suffering a 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 loss to India’s Sania Mirza and the Czech Republic’s Barbora Strcova in 1 hour, 24 minutes.
Mirza and Strcova were defeated by the US’ Bethanie Mattek-Sands and the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova 6-1, 6-4 in yesterday’s doubles final.
AP, TASHKENT, Uzbekistan
Japan’s Nao Hibino yesterday failed to retain her Tashkent Open title after losing 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 to the Czech Republic’s Kristyna Pliskova.
Pliskova, the identical twin sister of sixth-ranked Karolina Pliskova, beat Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine 7-6 (2), 6-0 to advance to the final.
Pliskova won both of her previous matches against Hibino, but those encounters were on grass rather than the hardcourt surface used at the Tashkent Open.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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