WUHAN, China - No.5 seed Petra Kvitova is back into the semifinals at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open after outplaying the rising Dayana Yastremska in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.
Wuhan’s first multiple time champion, Kvitova came into the tournament looking to reclaim the red-hot form from the first half of the season that saw her lift trophies in Sydney and Stuttgart and reach finals at the Australian Open and Dubai.
A left forearm injury derailed her consistency, keeping her out of Roland Garros and forcing her to play a reduced schedule, contesting just three tournaments in the past four months.
But back at one of her happiest hunting grounds, Kvitova was dialed in from the start against Ukrainain youngster Yastremska. Kvitova fired 14 winners and broke her opponent four times en route to a comfortable victory in an hour and 13 minutes.
"I think she is definitely trying to play very aggressive, which as we see is really paying off. She's a good mover, as well. She has a lot of energy anyway. I tried to put the pressure on her at the first play on the court, which I think was probably the key of it," Kvitova assessed after the match.
"I love playing in Wuhan, as we all know. Yeah, I think it's about the timing. It's about the practices, which I finally made some when I was back home. So I'm glad that I was able to practice. Of course, with the practice, the timing and seeing the ball is better. I'm just glad for that."
The two-time Wimbledon winner was dialed in from the start against Yastremska. Kvitova opened with an early break to take a 1-0 lead, and dictated the pace with heavy grounstrokes, firing everything back at Yastremska with interest.
She extended her lead to 4-1, and served out the opening set in full control.
Yastremska showed her fight in the second set as she pegged back Kvitova, turning around another early break deficit and striking back to make it 1-1.
But she couldn’t hold back her opponent for long, and a game later Kvitova was back in front with a second break, 2-1. The pair stayed on serve for the remaining games as Kvitova marched her way to victory.
"I think every time is a challenge facing different opponents. She is pretty young, which is different a little bit," Kvitova said. "Definitely, she's young. She needs some experiences, but very talented.
"On the other side, experience was on my side today. I don't know, for me it's more tougher to play someone who you didn't face before, not really depends on the age."
— WTA (@WTA) September 26, 2019
The victory puts Kvitova through to her first semifinal since her title run in Stuttgart, and her fifth overall semifinal of 2019 - without having dropped a set.
Up next, Kvitova will match up with the always-dangerous Alison Riske, who will be looking for a fourth Top 10 win in 2019 and a second straight, having beaten Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals.
"With Alison, yeah, we played each other as well, but it's pretty long time," Kvitova said. "I think she is playing a little bit more flatter shots, trying to play more aggressive probably, as well. It will be similar game like today probably little bit."