TORONTO, Canada - No.14 seed Petra Kvitova overcame a tough opening test against Carla Suárez Navarro in her first match at the Rogers Cup, needing a second-set tiebreak to advance to the second round.
After easing through a one-sided opening set, the 2012 champion came back from 1-4 down in the second to move on 6-1, 7-6(5).
“I feel pretty solid right now,” Kvitova said in her on-court interview. “It was a great match in the second set, I really had to fight.”
Kvitova and Suárez Navarro came into their 11th matchup locked at 5-5 in their previous head to head record, with Suárez Navarro looking to make it five in a row as the Czech’s last victory happened over four years ago.
Kvitova got off to a great start, stepping in and winning most points inside the court to keep the Spaniard under constant pressure. Suárez Navarro was almost completely shut out the match in the opening set, with Kvitova blasting 15 winners past her and Suárez Navarro only recording two in the whole set.
The Spaniard - who had come back from a set down to defeat Kvitova in two of their previous four matches - didn’t seem phased after dropping the first set so one-sidedly. She dug in and completely turned around the match, starting with an early break to get ahead 4-1.
But the 2012 champion dashed Suárez Navarro’s advantage a few games later, roaring back to level the score at 4-4. The pair continued their tug of war as the rest of the games went the way of the server, sending them into a tiebreak.
Just a handful of points made the difference as Kvitova came back from a minibreak down to see off the determined Spaniard, halting Suárez Navarro’s comeback efforts after an hour and 34 minutes.
“It was just one break down,” Kvitova explained her second-set comeback. “Every game we played in the second set was very close. I just tried to count the points and not really see the score.
“Then I found out I was back on my serve, and I just tried to stay on my serve and try to win the tiebreaker and wait for some of my chances.”
With the victory, Kvitova will take on the winner between Yulia Putintseva and Sloane Stephens in the next round.