Kvitova Conquers Linz, Fifth WTA Title Of Year
Published October 16, 2011 12:00
LINZ, Austria - After bursting into prominence with her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, it took a while for her to find her best form again, going 5-5 in her next five tournaments. But on the fast indoor courts of Linz the all-court power game seemed to click again, as Petra Kvitova won the fifth WTA title of her career-best season at the International-level Generali Ladies Linz.
Seeded No.1, Kvitova came out of the blocks fast, winning her first three rounds comfortably in straight sets, including a routine 62 62 quarterfinal win over No.8 seed Daniela Hantuchova. She was pushed hard in the semifinals, having to come back from 64 31 down to beat No.3 seed Jelena Jankovic, 46 64 63, but in Sunday's final was in full flow again, winning eight of the last nine games from 4-all in the first set to put No.7 seed Dominika Cibulkova away, 64 61.
"I was fighting for every point this week," Kvitova said. "The semifinal with Jelena was tough, but it was very nice tennis from both of us. I played my best at the end of it - it was a very good match. And the first set with Dominika was very close. I know how well she plays and I knew I had to play well to beat her.
"I had to play very well on the big points today. Of course I'm very happy I won."
Perhaps to change things up, Kvitova came to Linz without her coach. "I came here alone. I just wanted to enjoy every match and get some practice on indoor courts - that's it," the 21-year-old said. "I just wanted to have a free mind. And also I'm very happy my coach David got some time to enjoy being at home!"
Linz is Kvitova's sixth WTA title, her first coming in 2009 (Hobart) and four more in the first half of 2011 (Brisbane, Paris [Indoors], Madrid and Wimbledon).
Kvitova will now have a week off before going to the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships. "I'm going to go home and have one week of preparation, then I'm going to Istanbul on Saturday. I'm just going to practice at home this week. I'm really looking forward to my first Championships and going to Istanbul."
Cibulkova fell to 0-3 in WTA finals, finishing runner-up twice in 2008, to Maria Sharapova at Amelia Island and to Dinara Safina at Montréal. She has lost all three finals in straight sets and is one of only two Top 30 players without a WTA title (the other player is Peng Shuai, who is 0-4 in WTA finals).
Afterwards, No.4 seeds Marina Erakovic and Elena Vesnina won the doubles title with a 75 61 win over unseeded German pairing Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld. It was Erakovic and Vesnina's first WTA title together; Erakovic now has five WTA doubles titles to her name, Vesnina six. Read about Erakovic and Vesnina's team chemistry and much more right here.