WUHAN, China - It was all on the line on Saturday - not just the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open title, but a spot in the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. And it was Petra Kvitova who rose to the occasion, storming past WTA Rising Star Eugenie Bouchard for the double payday.
The No.3-seeded Kvitova had won the pair's only two previous meetings handily in straight sets, including a 55-minute, 6-3, 6-0 drubbing in the Wimbledon final this summer, and she did it again this time, breaking early in both sets and hanging onto those breaks to win in straights, 6-3, 6-4.
Kvitova originally led by a double break in the second set, 5-2, and had a match point in that game, but missed a backhand into the net. She lost that second break but still rode the first one to victory.
The match stats weighed heavily in Kvitova's favor, as she put together an impressive +12 differential of winners to unforced errors (30 to 18), while Bouchard finished with a -4 differential (12 to 16).
Kvitova also converted on three of her five break point opportunities, Bouchard one of eight.
This was Kvitova's third WTA title of the year, having already won Wimbledon and New Haven. It was the 14th WTA title of her career - 11 of those 14 WTA titles are at the Premier level or higher.
Bouchard was the first to speak at the trophy ceremony after the final.
"It's been a great week," the Canadian said. "First of all, of course, I have to congratulate Petra. She's beaten me in two finals this year, so I will have to figure out what to do to beat her now!
"I felt like I played really well this week. And the crowd really made me feel at home. Also, this was the first year of this tournament, but it felt like you've been doing this for 100 years, it was so great.
"It was my first time in Wuhan and I loved it. I kind of want to come back in my off-season!"
Kvitova followed Bouchard to the podium and was just as charming in her acceptance speech.
"Congratulations to Genie," she said. "We always have great matches, and I wish you the best of luck for Singapore too. And this was the first tournament ever for Wuhan, but it was a great week here.
"Also, I know everybody wished to have Li Na here standing with us, but we will remember her with this trophy. I'm just glad she's happy now; I hope she's going to be happy for the rest of her life."