Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova claimed her first title of the year as she won a battle of ex-grand slam champions, beating China’s Li Na 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 at the Montreal Masters on Monday.
Kvitova, the fifth-seed, rode a roller coaster in the 62-minute opening set, which featured 17 break points between the error-prone pair with a dozen of those saved. The momentum shifts were fast and frequent in the opener but Kvitova finally took the early lead on a fifth set point in a monster final game.
Li won a break at the start of the second set and went on to win it and level the match. The pair settled in during the third set, with Kvitova earning a break for 4-2 and eventually earned the trophy three games later on her first match point after two and a quarter hours.
“I hope this is good preparation for the US Open,” said Kvitova. “I had some good matches here and hope to continue. But every tournament is different and every player is tough, so we’ll see. It’s great to have a good result in North America before the Open. I’m so glad I was able to play well here.”
Kvitova earned a personal best in North America, and this was her 34th win of the season against 11 losses as she earned her eighth career trophy.
Federer back on court today
Meanwhile, Roger Federer would have hoped for more than just the few days of pause he managed after the London Olympic final, but will take what he can get as the world number one prepares for his start at the Cincinnati Masters today.
The top seed said even his few days away to celebrate his 31st birthday with his wife and twin daughters was worthwhile for recuperation as he lays the groundwork for his final sprint of the abbreviated summer hard court season going into the US Open.
“The last few years we always had at least a two, three-week preparation for the hard courts,” said the seven-time Wimbledon winner and Olympic silver medallist. “But this time we’ve just had two and a half weeks more on grass, so obviously I don’t think the preparation is as good as it’s been in the previous years. I’ve had better preparations, there’s no doubt about it, but it was definitely key for me to take some time off.”
Federer has won four titles in Cincinnati, which he has played uninterruptedly since 2002.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2012.
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