BEIJING, China - Petra Kvitova put together a dominant performance against Caroline Wozniacki to grab the final spot in the China Open quarterfinals in straight sets.
The No.12 seed was nearly untouchable on serve, taking down Wozniacki 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 13 minutes.
“I think it was a pretty good match from my side,” Kvitova said in her post-match press conference. “I didn't really made any easy mistakes or unforced errors or whatever. My serve helped me a lot, as well. It was improving all the match. Especially from the second set, I really attacked her.
“Caroline has a great record this year, she's playing unbelievable. That's how I was preparing for the match, it will be not easy. I know how tough is to play her. It's a lot of rallies. It's nothing really easy from her. That's how I went there.”
— WTA (@WTA) October 5, 2017
The pair came into Thursday’s matchup with a lot of history behind them; their third round clash was their 12th career meeting at the WTA level, with Kvitova edging their head-to-head record 6-5.
They started out tentatively, needing a few games to test each other’s game in the opening exchanges. But Kvitova quickly found her groove, pouncing on Wozniacki’s vulnerable second serve and punishing the returns.
The Czech’s powerful first and second serves didn’t give Wozniacki a chance to get a foothold in the match as Kvitova reeled off six games in a row to close out the opening set.
Wozniacki enjoyed a brief letdown from Kvitova to get her name on the scoreboard in the second and stop Kvitova’s run of games with an emphatic service hold. She brought up two break points on both of Kvitova’s first service games, but Kvitova saved both with a pair of timely aces.
— WTA (@WTA) October 5, 2017
Both players stayed solid and kept on serve, until finally it was Kvitova that broke through, converting on her first and only break chance late in the set to close out the match and take the final spot in the Beijing quarterfinals.
“I think the only thing I really could have done is put in a few more first serves in the first set,” Wozniacki explained afterwards. “Other than that, I really tried my best. I did better on my serve in the second set and got it a bit closer, but it never really felt like I was ever close to winning it.”
Kvitova will take on fellow Czech Barbora Strycova up next for a spot in the semifinals.
“Probably it's always extra motivation to play some of the Czech girls,” Kvitova said. “But on the other hand we are pretty friends. We play Fed Cup. We won many times already. We have a good friendship anyway.
“It will be difficult tomorrow, for sure. Barbora has to play well, otherwise she's not in the quarterfinals. That's how I going to take it. I hope I will show some good tennis tomorrow.”
Though Kvitova fell in her title defense at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open last week, a big run in Beijing might see the Czech earn a chance to defend her title at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai to cap her season.
To be honest, it is little bit, yeah. I mean, it would be very, very nice if I qualified after everything which I been through, and I didn't play the first five or six months," Kvitova said. "It would be nice present to be there, but I'm not stressing about it. I'm not putting any pressure on it.
"We said with the team after Wimbledon everything what I going to play now is just bonus, kind of preparation for the next season. That's what I'm trying to take like that."