ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - Petra Kvitova survived a mid-match wobble to edge past the tricky Irina-Camelia Begu and make her way into the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy quarterfinals.
After putting in a dominant 6-2, 6-0 victory in her previous match against No.7 seed Elena Vesnina, Kvitova faced more resistance against Begu but continued her her strong form to notch a 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 victory in just over an hour and 30 minutes.
Kvitova grabbed a wildcard into St. Petersburg looking to shake off an early exit at the Australian Open, and she seemed to have clicked into gear on the indoor courts at the Sibur Arena, while her opponent, Begu, had survived a 119-minute marathon match against lucky loser Andrea Petkovic in the previous round.
One break of serve mades the difference in the closely contested opening set. Every game save one went to 40-30 as both players piled the pressure on each other, but it was Kvitova who broke through early on to get ahead a 3-1 lead. She didn’t face a break point as she held onto the advantage to wrap up the opening set.
It was just as close in the start of the second before Begu finally bucked the trend. As Kvitova’s second serve began to misfire, Begu pounced on the opportunity to break twice and serve out a love game to zoom ahead to a 5-1 lead.
But Kvitova righted the ship in the final set, finding her strong serves once again and striking winners off both wings. The Czech reeled off the first five games in a row before closing out the match in an hour and 36 minutes.
“It was a pretty interesting match, I have to say,” Kvitova said afterwards. “At the beginning, I felt okay but then I couldn’t hold my serve at the beginning of the second set.
“I was a little bit struggling at that time and she took the important points. I fought really hard at the start of the third and managed to turn the match back to me.
“The court’s not really fast, and also not really slow. So I think it’s good for both sides; if you want you can have rallies, but it can [play] quick if you hit it hard.”
No.2 seed Jelena Ostapenko awaits the Czech in the quarterfinals. The reigning French Open champion edged past WTA veteran Vera Zvonareva 7-6(6), 6-3 yesterday.