Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Kvitová wins Aegon Classic in Birmingham

Kvitova took the opening set 6-1 against Safarova and was leading 1-0 in the second after breaking serve when the world number 41 could not continue because of a troubling thigh strain in her right leg, which had been heavily strapped. Barty managed to earn a few games, but Kvitova soon closed the door by taking the set 6-3.

Kvitova has made her first final in only her second tournament since returning after a six-month absence.

Kvitova had to battle back from a set down against Barty, who only returned to tennis past year following a stint playing professional cricket in the Big Bash.

The win marked Kvitova's 20th career WTA title and showed she was in fine form ahead of the year's third grand slam.

Barty, meanwhile, delivered the biggest scalp of her career after coming from behind to defeat Muguruza.

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'This is clearly something special.

"It's some bonus to have my life and my career and everything". "I like big matches, and I've missed it over the last six months".

It took a second-set tiebreak and one hour 43 minutes for Kvitova to secure the win which sets up a semi-final clash with compatriot Lucie Safarova. "I think that my game should be same as every other day, to play fast and aggressive and to show my serve again, and I hope it will help me again".

"I think I couldn't have imagined a better comeback, for sure".

Australia's Ashleigh Barty returns the ball to Spain's Garbine Muguruza during their semifinal match at the Birmingham Classic tennis tournament at Edgbaston Priory, Birmingham, England. But she remained reluctant to agree that she was now one of the players who could win Wimbledon.

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"From the first hit on the grass, I felt great", Kvitova said after the match, a scary thought for the rest for the field at Wimbledon, where the two-time champion will, against all odds, arguably enter as the title favorite. But Petra came out in the second and put me on the back foot pretty early. Of course I would like to play my best at Wimbledon but if I don't then I won't worry', , she told BBC Sport.

"It's so unbelievable to have
Petra back on the court". She's such an inspiration. "I think she had a great run here for sure".

"The hand is good which is the best news I could have, and I am not feeling any pain - and that's the best news", she repeated.

Zverev joked: 'You could have been a bit nicer and allowed me a couple more points'. "So I'm really excited and I can't wait to get to Wimbledon".

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