Sun, May 06, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Kvitova rallies to win her maiden Prague Open title


The Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova serves to Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu in their Prague Open final in the Czech Republic yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Petra Kvitova yesterday won her third title of the year after she fought back from a set down to beat Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the Prague Open final.

The Czech second seed got off to a flying start and took a 4-1 lead in the opening set, but Buzarnescu battled back to break Kvitova’s dominance, winning the next five games to clinch the set.

Kvitova roared back in front of a raucous home crowd, using her powerful forehand to pin Buzarnescu back in the second set and broke the Romanian’s serve three times to force a decider.

The two-time Wimbledon champion, who missed the Prague event last year due to a hand injury, maintained her momentum to win her home tournament in her first appearance.

The 28-year-old left-hander added to her triumphs in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and Doha this season.

Buzarnescu fell to a second WTA final defeat after losing out at the Hobart International final to Belgian Elise Mertens.


By Dave Carroll

Staff reporter

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei on Friday failed in her bid to reach a first WTA Tour singles final since 2012 at the Grand Prix De SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Rabat, Morocco, as the world No. 60 fell to a crushing defeat to the top seed.

Hsieh was looking to win her first title since victories in Kuala Lumpur and Guangzhou, China, six years ago, but fell to a 6-0, 6-2 defeat to Belgian world No. 19 Elise Mertens in the semi-finals in just 57 minutes.

The top seed did not face a single break point and converted five of six, winning 53 of the 78 points contested in the first ever meeting of the players on the WTA Tour.

“I’m really happy about my game,” Mertens told the WTA Tour Web site. “Of course, [Hsieh] also went to the semis, she’s a great player too, she has a lot of experience, she’s very handy. It was still a battle at the end, but I’m really happy that I pulled through.”

The Belgian hit 12 winners against only eight unforced errors, while an out-of-sorts Hsieh committed 26 unforced errors.

Mertens, looking to claim a WTA Tour-best third title of the season after victories in Hobart, Australia, and Lugano, Switzerland, faces Ajla Tomljanovic in the final after the unseeded Australian world No. 96 saved nine of 15 break points and converted three of six to upset Serbian seventh seed Aleksandra Krunic 7-5, 6-2 in the other semi-final.

“Of course, it’s going to be a tough one,” Mertens said. “[Tomljanovic is] also a good player, [but] I really feel like the support is on my side, too; if I’m walking here, everybody’s saying: ‘Good luck’ and ‘Congrats,’ so I’m really feeling good here.”

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