Tennis

Kvitova wins New Haven title

2012-08-26 13:08
Petra Kvitova (File)

New Haven, Connecticut - Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova claimed her second title of the season by beating Maria Kirilenko 7-6 (11/9), 7-5 in the final of the WTA Tour's New Haven Open on Saturday.

The 22-year-old second-seeded Czech earned her ninth singles title by hammering seven aces and winning 56 percent of her first-serve points in the two hour, seven minute match.

The hardcourt tournament served as a tune-up for the US Open which begins on Monday in New York.

Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011, outlasted Kirilenko in a marathon opening set that took more than an hour. She then rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the second by winning five consecutive games.

"In the tie-break I just played point by point - I wasn't thinking about the score," Kvitova said. "In the end it was pretty close and I'm really glad I won it."

"After that, I was down physically, without energy," she said. "It seemed like I was walking, not running. I made a lot of mistakes and went 5-2 down - but then I tried not to think about my shots or tactics and started putting the ball into the court more."

Saturday's final came just weeks after the two met in the quarter-finals of the London Olympic women's singles tournament, where Kirilenko won in straight sets.

"Even though I lost I still feel positive," said Kirilenko, who was hurt by seven double faults. "I played really well this week. I played a good match today. Unfortunately, I was unlucky in the final today."

Kvitova earned her first title of 2012 with a victory over China's Li Na in Montreal earlier this month. She earned $107,000 for Sunday's win.

Kvitova has secured the top spot in the US Open Series standings as a result of her performance in the tournaments heading into the final Grand Slam of the season. That gives her a chance to collect a $1m bonus if she wins the US Open.

She's seeded fifth at the Open and will play her first-round match against Slovenia's Polona Hercog on Monday.

"It's unbelievable - I played three tournaments in a row and won two," Kvitova said. "I've played a lot of matches and I'm feeling more relaxed and confident on the court. I hope all of this will continue into the US Open next week."

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