The defending champion surrendered just five games to keep her campaign for a fifth title of the year alive.
Dylan Terry
June 22, 2018

BIRMINGHAM, Great Britain - Petra Kvitova kept her hopes of a second successive title in Birmingham alive with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Julia Goerges.

The two-time Wimbledon champion, going for her fifth title of the year, beat Goerges for the sixth time in seven meetings to book her place in the semifinals.

"I think the score looks a little bit different compared to game. I think I found my game after the second half of the first set," Kvitova said after the match. 

"I think in the beginning of the match, we were both kind of finding the rhythm, the serve and the shots, especially on my serve. I think sometimes I was pretty lucky that she missed the return. When I broke her serve, it was a little bit kind of better for me, but was still trying to find good rhythm on the serve which I found afterwards."

Despite having won 20 of her 21 service games over two matches this week, Goerges struggled to find any sort of consistency early on in the match and Kvitova made her pay by breaking at the first opportunity, much like she did in her opening match against Daria Gavrilova.

The defending champion dominated large parts of the first set from the back of the court, using her powerful style of tennis to make Goerges work for every point, and took her just half an hour to close out the first set.

Kvitova picked up right where she left off at the start of the second set, breaking in the first game and never looking troubled throughout the match. 

She added: "In the second set, playing with the break from the beginning was a little bit relaxed for sure. I know how she's playing even if she's down. She really went for the shots and for the returns as well. I'm pretty happy with the game how I played like the first two points in the rallies."

Goerges was more competitive in the second as she held serve relatively comfortably after the initial early break, but she failed to really put any sort of pressure on the Kvitova serve and the Grand Slam champion from the Czech Republic was able to see out the match in 66 minutes.

"I was pleased with the game and everything just worked well today," Kvitova said. "I can't see any easy first rounds here. I feel the field is very strong every year. I just always trying to focus how I feel and what I feel on the court and should I make improvements and kind of this stuff. I'm not really focusing on the score."

The Czech struck a staggering 20 winners to just nine unforced errors over the course of the match, serving six aces and saving all three break points she faced to move into her sixth career semifinal on grass. 

The No.4 seed has not dropped a set this week, and improved to 5-0 in quarterfinal matches this season. She has won the title in all of her previous four appearances. 

Kvitova will now face Mihaela Buzarnescu for a place in the final of the Nature Valley Classic, after the Romanian ousted No.2 seed Elina Svitolina in straight sets.

The Czech reflected on the lone meeting between the two players this season - in which she rallied from a set down in the final of the J&T Banka Prague Open - in her post-match press conference.

"I think she's pretty confident right now. She's in good form as we see. Until I met her in Prague final, I didn't really know much about her. Obviously I heard the name, saw the name doing well in the draw, but I never really paid attention until that time when we play three-setter.

"It was a really big fight. She's a lefty. PShe's playing with the confidence with nothing to lose. For me, she seems to be really relaxed every time she's on the court, off the court. That's probably her biggest weapon now."