Singapore - Petra Kvitova got her WTA
Finals campaign back on track with a hard fought 7-5 7-5 victory over Czech
compatriot and Fed Cup team-mate Lucie Safarova to record her first win of this
year's elite eight-woman event on Wednesday.
Both women had lost their 'White Group'
openers on Monday so were desperate to pick up a much-needed win and it was the
double Wimbledon champion who made the most of her opportunities on the key
points to help her emerge victorious
The powerful left-handers took to court in
identical outfits and were also almost impossible to separate on the
scoreboard, with each player racing through their service games in a tight
first set high on winners and low on unforced errors.
Kvitova appeared happy to keep the points
short to conserve energy as she continues her battle with mononucleosis but was
jolted into life when she gave up the first break point of the match at 5-5 in
the opener, staving off the threat with a crosscourt winner that she greeted
with a roared "Come on!".
A pair of huge serves put the double
Wimbledon champion back in front and the set appeared destined for a tiebreak
when Safarova led 40-15, but the French Open finalist wobbled and Kvitova
pounced, wrapping up the opener with a big forehand.
Safarova shrugged off the disappointment by
racing out of the blocks in the second, breaking twice to storm 3-0 clear
before the world number five rallied behind her formidable forehand to quickly
erase the deficit.
Kvitova had seized the momentum and was
threatening to run away with the contest when she held two break points to
forge 5-3 ahead before Safarova held firm through a mixture of guts and guile
to drag it back to 4-4.
Both players were now playing their best
tennis of the match but it was Kvitova who pounced again to ensure a tiebreaker
would not be needed, wrapping up victory in one hour, 49 minutes with a deep
return that Safarova could only thump into the net.
The victory improved Kvitova's head-to-head
record to 8-0 over Safarova but the pair will transform from rivals to team-mates in Prague on Nov. 14-15 when the Czech Republic take on Russia in the Fed
Cup final in search of a ninth title.
Play in the 'White Group' continues later
on Wednesday when Spain's Garbine Muguruza takes on Germany's Angelique Kerber
with both players looking to improve to 2-0 in round robin play.