Birmingham - Petra Kvitova, the two-time Wimbledon champion who has been hoping to
build her grass court momentum for a third tilt at the oldest Grand
Slam title, instead became the latest big name to lose at the rain-hit
Birmingham tournament on Thursday.
Moving gingerly on the lush
surface, Kvitova subsided to a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 second round loss to
Jelena Ostapenko, the world No 38.
Erasing a 0-2 deficit in
the decider visibly encouraged the 19-year-old Latvian, who pressed
harder, hit flatter, and often played the big points better.
"It was difficult to put the pressure on her," said Kvitova, who played with her right thigh strapped.
"When she dropped serve she became more dangerous. And I wasn't moving very well today."
the beginning (of the grass court season) it is really difficult for
the body. I don't know that I did anything wrong. But at least I played
two matches here, and I hope to get more at Eastbourne (next week)."
player was helped by a slightly late start and a 40-minute interruption
in the middle of the match, both caused by incessant showers which have
blighted the tournament for four days.
Perhaps unsurprisingly it was the younger player who proved more resilient in dealing with it all.
most crucial moments came immediately after Kvitova had broken serve to
level at a set all, and then surged into a 2-0 lead in the decider.
followed it with a poor game, failing to land her first serve
frequently enough and then playing an even more disappointingly in the
seventh game, delivering a double fault and dropping her serve to love.
earned a break back point in the following game but was denied by a
brilliant forehand from Ostapenko and after that the match ended
"I'd beaten her before," said Ostapenko, referring to a victory on hard courts in Doha in the first week of the year.
"So I thought I could do it again."
She next plays Madison Keys, the top 20 American for a place in the semi-finals.
was followed to the exit door by Caroline Wozniacki, the former world
number one, was who beaten 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2 by Yanina Wickmayer,
ranked down at 49 but a former finalist in Birmingham.
has also been struggling with injuries in recent weeks, and had moments
when she appeared concerned not to aggravate them in a match that was
interrupted three times by the weather.
Two other seeds, Angelique
Kerber, the Australian Open champion, and Carla Suarez Navarro were
also struggling when rain ended play early for the fourth day in a row.
and Wozniacki's exits followed those on earlier days of Agnieszka
Radwanska, the top seed, of Belinda Bencic, the youngest world top ten
player, and Karolina Pliskova, the eighth-seeded Czech who won the title
on the Nottingham grass last week.
Results from the WTA Birmingham tournament on Thursday (x denotes seeding):
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) bt Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2
Johanna Konta (GBRx9) bt Misaki Doi 7-6(7-3), 6-1
Madison Keys (USA x7) bt Tamira Paszek (AUT) 6-1, 6-3
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) bt Petra Kvitova (CZE x5) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) bt Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM) 6-3, 6-3
Suspended due to rain
Andrea Petkovic (GER) leads Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x6) 6-4, 6-6 (0/2)
Daria Gavrilova (AUS) leads Angelique Kerber (GER x2) 6-5