Petra Kvitova maintained her unbeatable form until the very end at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, dethroning defending champion Kristina Mladenovic to win her 21st career title.
David Kane
February 4, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - Two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova has won at least one WTA title since 2011 and kept that streak alive at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, dispatching defending champion Kristina Mladenovic, 6-1, 6-2.

"This was a special tournament for me," the wildcard said after the match. "All week, I played unbelievable matches and I really had to fight to make the final."

The first left-hander to win a singles title in Russia, Kvitova played some of her best tennis since coming back from a traumatic hand injury last spring, striking 16 winners in the first set alone to deny Mladenovic a second straight St. Petersburg title after 65 minutes on court.

"Coming into this week, there was a lot of pressure and I don't think many people expected me to show up in the finals," Mladenovic said in her runner-up speech. "But from the moment I got here, I felt so welcomed by everyone from the crowd to the organizers, and I fought very hard every single match to make it back here. Petra had an amazing week, and luckily we had an amazing show after the match!" she joked, referencing the post-match ballet performed on court.

In all, the former World No.2 hit seven aces and dropped just six points behind her first serve, saving all three break points faced in front of an enthusiastic Sibur Arena crowd.

Kvitova now owns the fifth highest total singles titles among active players at 21, surpassing Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska, with whom she previously tied.

The Czech veteran moves back up to World No.21 with no points to defend until the French Open, while Mladenovic's runner-up finish means semifinalist Julia Goerges will make her Top 10 debut on Monday's rankings.

Kvitova now owns the fifth highest total singles titles among active players at 21, surpassing Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska, with whom she previously tied.

"We are always trying to get better," Kvitova said. "Even on a day like today, where I feel like I did everything well - I think my volleys and serve helped in particular - there's always some small things you can improve. But right now, I'm satisfied inside because I played a good game and that's how I feel in my heart."

The Czech veteran moves back up to World No.21 with no points to defend until the French Open, while Mladenovic's runner-up finish means semifinalist Julia Goerges will make her Top 10 debut on Monday's rankings.