BRISBANE, Australia - Former champion Petra Kvitova is back into the Brisbane International semifinals after a confident straight sets win to end qualifier Jennifer Brady’s impressive run, 6-4, 6-2.
Last year’s Sydney champion and Australian Open finalist, Kvitova has enjoyed a wave of recent success in Australia, and has continued to find the wins this year in Brisbane, where she lifted the trophy back in 2011.
She had to dig deep from those experiences to stop the on-fire Brady, who defeated Maria Sharapova and then stunned World No.1 Ashleigh Barty earlier in the tournament to score her first career Top 10 win.
The American qualifier made a strong start to the match, creating four break opportunities straight away in the opening game. But Kvitova held firm, and the two-time Wimbledon champion replied in kind with four break points of her own, although both players remained on serve, 1-1.
The next seven games were tightly contested, all going to the server and with no break points on offer. Finally it was Kvitova who drew first blood, and at exactly the right time - with the scoreboard pressure on Brady, Kvitova broke at 6-4 close out the set.
From that point, Kvitova was nearly untouchable as the second set became a hardcourt masterclass. The Czech dropped just two points across all of her service games, and piled the pressure on an increasingly frustrated Brady. Kvitova was striking winners off of both wings, and broke Brady twice - at 3-1 and again at 6-1 - to seal the victory after an hour and 20 minutes.
Kvitova’s firepower was on full display against Brady, firing 28 winners to her opponent’s eight and serving up eight aces en route to victory. Her strong serving was the key, winning 93% of points behind her first serve and, as a result, saving all four of the break points she faced during the match.
Up next, Kvitova will face a big challenge in the final four as No.8 seed Madison Keys awaits in the semifinals. Keys took down fellow American Danielle Collins in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1, earlier in the day to advance.
More to follow...