Posts Tagged ‘Petra Kvitova


Defending champion Petra Kvitova beaten by Czech team mate.


Petra Kvitova’s title defence at the Mutua Madrid Open did not last long. The Wimbledon champion was beaten 6-4 6-3 by Czech compatriot Lucie Hradecka in the Spanish captial on Wednesday. Kvitova, seeded third, was broken five times by her opponent, who needed to qualify for the main draw. Hradecka said knowing Kvitova’s game had helped her claim what was the biggest win of her career. She told the WTA’s official website: “I knew if I played strong and concentrated on my serve I had a chance to win. “We played at the end of last year in some club matches and I won, and also we’ve played a lot of sparring games from Fed Cup. We know each other’s games pretty well.”

In other second-round matches, fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska faced no such problems on her way to a 6-0 6-1 rout of Sara Errani, while Roberta Vinci looked equally ruthless in despatching Yanina Wickmayer 6-1 6-2. Maria Kirilenko, the 16th seed, was upset though, beaten 6-4 6-4 by Ekaterina Makarova. In the pick of the day’s third-round action, world number one Victoria Azarenka saw off one of her predecessors, Ana Ivanovic, 6-4 6-4. Eighth seed Na Li, the reigning French Open champion, saw off Angelique Kerber 7-5 6-4 while Samantha Stosur, seeded fifth, was a 6-3 6-2 winner over Petra Cetkovska.


Semi finals set in Stuttgart.

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Maria Sharapova came through a three-hour epic against Sam Stosur to reach the semi-finals of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart. The world number two claimed her 10th win in 11 career meetings with the Australian but she had to do it the hard way, coming from a set down after two tie-breaks and a hard-fought deciding set. Both players’ serves held firm throughout the first set, won by Stosur on a tie-break before Sharapova responded in kind after a second set featuring one break  apiece. One more was enough for the Russian to win the decider and wrap up a 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/5) 7-5 victory. She will face Petra Kvitova, her conqueror in last year’s Wimbledon final, after the Czech left-hander cruised past Germany’s Angelique Kerber 6-4 6-4. Kvitova broke three times in a scrappy first set before taking the second with a solitary break.

Top seed Victoria Azarenka was also made to battle hard before downing Germany’s Mona Barthel in three sets. The Belarusian prevailed 6-4 6-7 (3/7) 7-5 in two hours 49 minutes, taking seven of a huge 22 break points en route, but will almost certainly have to improve on that conversion rate if she is to get past Agnieska Radwanska to reach the final. Polish fourth seed Radwanska came from a set down to beat China’s Li Na 3-6 6-2 6-3 in exactly two hours.


Christina McHale upsets Kvitova to advance to the round of 16.

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Petra Kvitova is out of the WTA BNP Paribas Open after a three-set defeat to Christina McHale. Kvitova looked to be heading for a routine victory in her third-round match when she won the first set against 19-year-old McHale, but the American 32nd seed battled back to stun the third-seeded Czech 2-6 6-2 6-3. McHale said: “She started off serving really well. I couldn’t get a read on her serve in the first set, and I wasn’t moving very well, either. “And then I just hung in there early in the second, and then she played one service game where she gave me a couple of loose errors, and then I just kept hanging in there. Then I got more comfortable as the match went on.” McHale will face 18th seed Angelique Kerber in the last 16, the German going through after Vania King withdrew with an illness which is reportedly troubling others at the event.

There were no such worries for Victoria Azarenka, the top seed ousting 25th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1 6-2 in exactly an hour. The world number one from Belarus said: “I knew she was going to be dangerous. “She’s a grand slam winner. I really had to step it up from my last match, and I’m glad I could perform much better than I did in that first match.” Klara Zakopalova advanced when her opponent, ninth seed Vera Zvonareva, withdrew due to a viral illness, while fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska overcame 27th seed Flavia Pennetta 6-4 6-2.

Also in the women’s event, French Open champion Li Na beat fellow Chinese Zheng Jie 6-1 6-3, big-hitting German Julia Goerges saw off Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3 6-4 and Jamie Hampton battled past Jarmila Gajdosova 6-2 6-7 (1/7) 6-2.


Czech Republic will face a strong German team in their first Fed Cup title defense.

The Czech Republic Fed Cup team

Just three months after ending a 23-year wait to win the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, the Czech Republic begin the defense of their title with a visit to Stuttgart this weekend to take on Germany. Leading the Czech team in the World Group first round tie will be World No.2 Petra Kvitova. Last year, Kvitova proved inspirational in the competition, winning all six of her singles rubbers, as Petr Pala’s team defeated Slovakia, Belgium and then Russia in final. Joining her against Germany are Iveta Benesova, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Lucie Hradecka. Although Germany are missing their No.1 player, Andrea Petkovic, who is suffering from a stress fracture in her lower back, they still represent a stern test on the indoor hardcourts of the Porsche Arena. Tennis in Germany is experiencing something of a renaissance at present and three of Barbara Rittner’s team, Sabine Lisicki, Julia Goerges and Angelique Kerber, are in the Top 30, while Anna-Lena Groenefeld is a former Top 10 doubles player.

Also in first round action over the weekend are Italy. The 2009 and 2010 champions have named a full-strength team, including Francesca Schiavone, and start as heavy favorites against World Group newcomers Ukraine on the indoor clay of Biella. The other two ties pit perennial contenders Russia with Spain in Moscow and Belgium against Serbia in Charleroi.

In World Group II, 17-time Fed Cup champions USA, relegated from the World Group for the first time in their history last year, take their first step on the road back to the big time with a tie against Belarus. Spearheading a strong USA side are Serena and Venus Williams, while Belarus include recently crowned Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka. Also bidding for promotion are Australia, France and Japan, who take on Switzerland, Slovakia and Slovenia respectively.



Maria Sharapova avenged her Wimbledon defeat by beating Petra Kvitova to reach the final of the Australian Open.


Sharapova lost out to the 21-year-old in straight sets in the final at the All-England Club but she settled the score as she recorded a 6-2 3-6 6-4 victory in Melbourne. The fourth seed, who won here in 2008, will now face Victoria Azarenka in Saturday’s final.

Sharapova, though, had to dig deep to secure the win after going a break down in the deciding set, while her serve continued to misfire throughout. In fact Sharapova was guilty of conceding 10 double faults. The Russian’s powerful strokeplay was enough to see her outlast the second seed. And having fashioned two match points in the 10th game of third set, Sharapova took the opportunity to book her final at the Australian Open. “I felt like in the third set she always had the advantage,” Sharapova said. “I just thought to myself you’ve just got to go for it. “I just hung in there and got a few returns in there in the last game. “I love this sport and sometimes even if you’re not playing your best tennis, you can find a way to win.” Kvitova looked completely out of sorts in the first set, with her movement particularly suspect. Sharapova, on the other hand, was full of intensity and forced an early break from the Czech and although her opponent hit back, further breaks in the fifth and seventh games handed her the opening set. Sharapova’s serve, though, gifted Kvitova a route back into the game in the second set – with the momentum shifting in the Czech’s favour. Having levelled the match, Kvitova then broke Sharapova at the start of the deciding set and it looked like there would be only one winner. Sharapova used all her experience to hit straight back, though, and having come through a titanic seventh game she made her move to snatch the Kvitova serve and clinch the match.




Sharapova moves on to the semifinal against Kvitova where she will hope to do better than she did at Wimbledon.

Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts as she plays Sabine Lisicki of Germany during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championship, in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Petra Kvitova overcame a spirited challenge from unseeded Sara Errani 6-4 6-4 to advance to the Australian Open semi-finals. The Czech number two seed struggled for rhythm as Errani drew the sting from her groundstrokes in the first set. An erratic Kvitova found herself 4-1 adrift in the second, but wrestled the match her way with five straight games. Kvitova will play fourth seed Maria Sharapova next after she beat fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-2 6-3. Kvitova, who beat Sharapova to win her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last July, is one of three players vying to supplant Caroline Wozniacki as world number one after the Dane’s quarter-final exit ensured she will drop from the top of the rankings after the tournament.

Petra Kvitova will be the new world number one if she wins the tournament, or loses to Kim Clijsters in the final but  Victoria Azarenka or Maria Sharapova will rise to the top of the rankings if either wins the tournament.

The 21-year-old had spent less than five hours on court during her four previous matches, but she was given a thorough workout by Errani as the pair duelled for an hour and 51 minutes on Rod Laver Arena. “I expected [it] to be very tough – she played very well today and before,” said Kvitova of her opponent. “She has a very flat shot and plenty of spin to my backhand so I had to concentrate and think about tactics.” The Bologna-based 24-year-old, ranked 48th in the world, frustrated Kvitova as she chased down her shots and drew mistakes from her higher-ranked opponent. After moving a double break and 5-2 up in the first set, Kvitova appeared to have come to terms with the challenge. But Errani recovered one of those breaks late in the opener and she gave Kvitova plenty more to think about in the early stages of the second. Sharapova will be world number one if she wins the Australian title As she continued to force the taller Kvitova to chase to the front of the court, Errani established a healthy lead with consecutive breaks.  The left-handed Kvitova had grown increasingly frustrated by her inability to pin down Errani, but pulled herself together just in time to prevent the match running into a third set. A crucial hold from 0-30 down on her serve in the sixth game was the catalyst as she belatedly imposed herself on the match and swept past a wilting Errani to become the first Czech woman into the last four since Jana Novotna in 1991.

Sharapova progressed in more straightforward style as she made it three wins from three career meetings with her compatriot in 87 minutes. The 2008 champion was quickly into her stride and squandered four break points in the second game before making the breakthrough in the fourth as she pounced on Makarova’s second serve. Makarova rallied and forced 30-40 in the seventh, but Sharapova responded with an ace and clinched the opener with a break of her own. World number 56 Makarova edged ahead with a break in the third game of the second set but surrendered her advantage straight away before Sharapova’s strength from the baseline secured the decisive break in the sixth.



Monday’s match with Kvitova could be a defining moment in Ana’s career.

Ana takes on world No.2 and reinging Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Monday. The 24-year-old holds a 3-0 head-to-head record against the Czech but the two have not played since 2009, when Kvitova was ranked outside the top 20. “It’s just very exciting to be in a second week,” said Ana, who disclosed that she and coach Nigel Sears had set objectives prior to the tournmament. “That was the first step for us. That was the first goal we had. “It’s nice to be able to achieve that. Now it’s going to be tough matches, match after match. “But I still believe I can do well. I’m just enjoying competing again. It’s going to be tough, but I love challenges. Ana is yet to drop a set here, while Kvitova wobbled during a three-set second round win over Carla Suarez Navarro. However, Kvitova will come into the match as a strong favourite due to the gulf in rankings of the two players.

About the Czech, Ana commented: “It’s going to be very tough one. Petra is definitely playing some great tennis. She’s one of the hottest players at the moment. It’s going to be great challenge for me. “But I’m really happy to go out there and throw my best at her. The better player will win.” The match is scheduled as the first on Rod Laver Arena on Monday.


Zvonareva & Kuznetsova & Kirilenko & Bartoli ousted.

Petra Kvitova and Maria Kirilenko

Petra Kvitova advanced to the Australian Open last 16 after Maria Kirilenko retired injured from their match at 6-0 1-0 down. Russian world number 29 Kirilenko had her thigh strapped before conceding defeat with 38 minutes on the clock. Fourth seed Maria Sharapova had to work harder for her place in the fourth round than the 6-1 6-2 scoreline from her win over Angelique Kerber suggests. Seventh seed Vera Zvonareva lost to fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova. Kvitova, who could unseat Caroline Wozniacki as world number one by the end of the tournament will take on Ana Ivanovic, who held top spot in the rankings for 12 weeks in 2008, in the next round.

“I’m a little disappointed. I played the first set very well but it was unfortunate it was like this,” said Kvitova of her win over Kirilenko. The Czech second seed had been taken to three sets in the previous round by Carla Suarez Navarro, but her powerful groundstrokes looked too much for Kirilenko even before her opponent called for medical attention at 5-0 adrift in the opening set.

Sharapova had dropped just two games in swift wins over Gisela Dulko and Jamie Hampton in her first two matches and looked set to progress in similar style as she broke early in the second set against Kerber. But the 2008 champion was pegged back as Kerber wrestled the third and fourth games of the set her way. Sharapova responded with steely determination though, edging back in front at 4-2 before securing her passage to the next stage with another break. There will be more German opposition for her in the last 16 where she will meet 14th seed Sabine Lisicki in a repeat of the pair’s 2011 Wimbledon meeting. Lisicki overcame 18th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 2-6 6-4 6-2 in a see-sawing match that lasted a shade under two hours. Zvonareva was out-fought 7-6 (9-7) 6-1 by Makarova as she became the highest-seeded player to exit the event since Sam Stosur’s first-round exit. The 24-year-old, who lost to eventual winner Kim Clijsters in the semi-finals last year, has had a slow start to 2012, losing in the first round of the Sydney International.

Ninth seed Marion Bartoli also fell victim to an upset as Chinese world number 38 Zheng Jie won their match 6-3 6-3. Zheng will play Italy’s Sara Errani who followed up her victory over 29th seed Nadia Petrova last time out with a 6-7 (6-8) 6-0 6-2 win over Romania’s Sorana Cirstea to make a Grand Slam fourth round for the first time. Ivanovic saw off American Vania King 6-3 6-4 to book her place in the same stage.



Top ladies all advance to the next round with little trouble.

Serena Williams

Five-time champion Serena outclassed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-0 6-4 to set up a meeting Greta Arn. Sharapova was even more convincing in a 6-0 6-1 thrashing of Jamie Hampton and she will next play Angelique Kerber. Petra Kvitova, Vera Zvonareva and Ana Ivanovic also went through on Thursday.

Wimbledon champion Kvitova was out of sorts and needed one hour and 47 minutes to complete a 6-2 2-6 6-4 victory over Spain’s Suarez Navarro. “It was okay at the beginning but then I made many, many mistakes,” said the second seed, who fell behind in the third set before bouncing back.

Seventh seed Zvonareva, a semi-finalist in 2009 and 2011, beat Lucie Hradecka 6-1 7-6 (7-3) and faces compatriot Ekaterina Makarova for a place in the last 16 after Makarova upset 25th seed Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-2 7-5.

Sharapova opened play on Rod Laver Arena but needed only 64 minutes to dispatch her American opponent. “I didn’t know too much about my opponent so I just focused on myself and tried to improve on my first round,” said the three-time Grand Slam champion. She takes on Kerber on Saturday after the 30th seed from Germany overcame Canada’s Stephanie Dubois 7-5 6-1. Sharapova was followed on court by Serena and the 12th seed snapped up the first set against a forlorn Strycova in 22 minutes. The Czech gave a better account of herself in the second, breaking Serena’s serve in game nine to make it 4-5. But the US number one hit straight back to secure a 68-minute triumph, the 500th win of her career. Serena, who pulled out of the recent Brisbane International after rolling her ankle on court, fell awkwardly in the final game against Strycova but later said: “It’s fine, I just have really wobbly ankles. I wasn’t meant to be a ballerina.”

Meanwhile, a resurgent Ivanovic – now coached by former British Fed Cup captain Nigel Sears – made serene progress. The 21st seed beat Michaella Krajicek 6-2 6-3 and next up is Vania King, who beat 15th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-5 3-6 4-6.

Marion Bartoli was another seed to comfortably progress, the 9th seed beating Jelena Dokic 6-3 6-2, while 14th seed Sabine Lisickie saw off Shahar Peer 6-1 6-2.



Li Na upsets Kvitova’s hope of becoming #1.


It was also a day of upsets in the men’s draw as top seed Juan Martin Del Potro and third seed Richard Gasquet both went out in the quarter-finals. Argentinian Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, went down 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 to Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis. Frenchman Gasquet also crashed out in straight sets with Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan claimed a 6-4 7-6 (7/4) victory. Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen swept aside American Bobby Reynolds 6-3 6-3, while France’s Julien Benneteau beat Alex Bogomolov Jr of Russia 6-2 6-4.

Petra Kvitova’s hopes of replacing Caroline Wozniacki as world number one before the start of the Australian Open were ended by defeat to Li Na in the semi-finals of the Sydney International. The Czech second seed would have taken top spot from the Dane, who crashed out on Wednesday, by winning the tournament. But Chinese fourth seed Li, the French Open champion and Australian Open finalist last year, came from a set down to clinch a 1-6 7-5 6-2 in just under two hours. Wimbledon champion Kvitova looked on course for a routine win when she broke three times to take the first set, but she was made to pay for not taking her chances as she wasted seven break points in the second. Li converted the two she carved out and stepped up a level in the decider to claim victory.

She will take on Belorussian Victoria Azarenka in the final after the third seed saw off Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska. The seventh seed was unable to repeat her success against Wozniacki as Azarenka also responded to dropping a one-sided first set to win 1-6 6-3 6-2.






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