NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - Petra Kvitova polished off a near-perfect US Open lead-up Saturday afternoon, winning her second WTA title in three weeks by beating Maria Kirilenko in the final of the New Haven Open at Yale.
Having already won the Rogers Cup in Montréal two weeks ago and clinched the Emirates Airline US Open Series two days ago, the No.2-seeded Kvitova showed her poise under pressure against Kirilenko, fending off a set point in a marathon first set tie-break and rallying from 5-2 down in the second set - also saving set point there - en route to a gritty 76(9) 75 win over the No.7 seed.
"In the tie-break I just played point by point - I wasn't thinking about the score," Kvitova said. "In the end it was pretty close and I'm really glad I won it.
"After that, I was down physically, without energy. It seemed like I was walking, not running. I made a lot of mistakes and went 5-2 down - but then I tried not to think about my shots or tactics and started putting the ball into the court more.
"Then it was 7-5. I was surprised."
"I was surprised I lost the tie-break," Kirilenko said. "The last five or six tie-breaks I've won - I haven't lost one the last four or five months. But it was really close, and I already served for the set and just didn't make the right decisions, and it's okay. I was 5-2 up in the second set and again she came back.
"Even though I lost I still feel positive. I played really well this week. I played a good match today. Unfortunately, I was unlucky in the final today."
The three weeks since the Olympics brought Kvitova her eighth and ninth WTA titles, and the other result wasn't too shabby either - the semis in Cincinnati, where she was edged by Angelique Kerber, 6-4 in the deciding set.
"It's unbelievable - I played three tournaments in a row and won two," Kvitova said. "I've played a lot of matches and I'm feeling more relaxed and confident on the court. I hope all of this will continue into the US Open next week."
Kvitova was also very happy with the tournament as a whole. "I think I will be back next year," she said. "It's my second time here. I enjoyed it this year much more than two years ago, because I lost first round and didn't really have time to enjoy New Haven. But with a great tournament director it's amazing. It's very calm. It's five minutes from the hotel to the tournament, so it's pretty easy for the players. You can go downtown for good dinners. It's just great."