For the first time in over a year, Petra Kvitova is back in the winner’s circle on the Hologic WTA Tour.
No.14 seed Kvitova charged past defending champion and No.8 seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday to win the Rothesay International for the 29th WTA singles title of her career.
"I’m very delighted, of course, after a special final," Kvitova said afterward. "I know that Jelena is playing well here on grass, the defending champion, so I was really prepared for that fast, aggressive game which she really played. It was a good match from both of us, I think."
Veteran success: Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, is now 5-1 in grass-court finals. The Czech’s only previous loss in a grass-court final came at 2011 Eastbourne, when she finished runner-up to Marion Bartoli in a clash between future Wimbledon champions.
Former World No.2 Kvitova won the first of her 29 titles in 2009; from that point up to now, the only player to win more singles titles on tour is Serena Williams, with 41 titles during that 13-year timeframe.
The 32-year-old Czech becomes the fifth player over the age of 30 to win a title this year, joining Simona Halep (Melbourne Summer Set 1), Angelique Kerber (Strasbourg), Tatjana Maria (Bogota) and Zhang Shuai (Lyon).
Match review: For her third match in a row, Kvitova did not lose her serve. The Czech faced only one break point in each of her last two matches; in the final, Kvitova was forced to erase five, which all came in a marathon 12-minute game at 2-1 in the second set.
Aside from that game, it was smooth sailing for Kvitova, who hit 18 winners to just 12 unforced errors on the day and takes a slim 5-4 lead in her head-to-head with Ostapenko. Kvitova picked up her first singles title since her triumph at Doha in March of 2021, 15 months ago.
Ostapenko's nine-match winning streak on the lawns of Eastbourne came to an end. The former French Open champion used her powerful groundstrokes well, hitting 21 winners to 19 unforced errors, but she never got a handle on the Kvitova lefty serve and was also broken three times.
"My serve was working, but still I needed some breaks, or I’m playing a tiebreak, which is always 50-50," Kvitova said. "I knew I had to push her second serve especially, and I was just going for it, trying to play aggressive from the first point so she doesn’t have time in her game."
Next up: Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova will start her 2022 campaign at SW19 against Italy's Jasmine Paolini on Tuesday. Kvitova has won both of their previous matches in straight sets, at 2020 Roland Garros and last year's Olympics.
"[Wimbledon] is a different tournament, a different week," Kvitova said. "In tennis, it’s very tricky; you just have to forget what was, and just be focusing on what is next. I do have a day off tomorrow, luckily, so I hope I can enjoy it a little bit tonight."
Krunic/Linette take doubles title: Aleksandra Krunic and Magda Linette were crowned Rothesay International doubles champions by walkover on Saturday. Ostapenko withdrew from the doubles final, where she was partnering Lyudmyla Kichenok, due to a right toe injury.
Krunic has now won six doubles titles on the Hologic WTA Tour, while Linette captures her second, both of hers coming this season. Krunic and Linette played their first event as a pairing this week.
Earlier in the week, Krunic and Linette upset No.2 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos in a straight-sets quarterfinal before receiving a walkover from Ons Jabeur and Serena Williams in the semifinals. Jabeur withdrew from that match due to a right knee injury.