BIRMINGHAM: Petra Kvitova warmed up for Wimbledon in impressive style as the former All England Club champion won the WTA Birmingham tournament for the second successive year on Sunday.
Czech star Kvitova saw off Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in a final lasting just over two hours on the grass-courts of the Edgbaston Priory Club.
The 28-year-old, who won the second of her two Wimbledon titles in 2014, hasn’t been past the third round in her last three appearances at the Grand Slam.
Kvitova has now claimed five WTA titles this season, as well as winning a women’s tour-leading 37 matches over the last six months.
“It’s amazing to defend a title. It’s not happened in a long time for me,” the big-serving Kvitova said.
“I was too nervous and Magda put pressure on me in the first set.
“It was tough to fight back but I was relaxed and it paid off afterwards.”
World number eight Kvitova, finally close to her best after the horrific knife attack that halted her career in 2016, will kick off her Wimbledon campaign when the tournament gets underway on July 2.
“I didn’t really expect to win here. For me, I’m surprised,” the former world number two added.
“I’m already pleased with this part of the season. I’m just happy to be back on the grass courts.
“I couldn’t imagine to have five titles this time of the year, so I’m pretty happy already.”