Rothesay International Eastbourne 2022: Petra Kvitova crowned champion for the first time at Devonshire Park
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As she looked to complete the holy trinity of grass court events here in the UK – having been crowned champion at SW19 twice before and twice again at Edgbaston Priory Club – Petra Kvitova ousted reigning champion, Jelena Ostapenko, in a 6-3, 6-2 straight-sets showcase to grant her the triple.
Sitting at No.20 on the all-time career titles list, the now 29-time Tour level champion shared her thoughts and emotions off the back of her fifth grass event title.
“Playing on the grass is very special for me – especially when you step onto such a beautiful court as here [at Devonshire Park],” Kvitova admitted.
A faultless start from Kvitova; the Czech charged ahead as she immediately broke her Latvian opponent to take the early initiative. The two-time Wimbledon champion cruised ahead as she consolidated her break with a comfortable hold to take a healthy lead.
Mirroring styles she showcased prior to snatching two Grand Slam titles, Kvitova took charge of the proceedings with her lefty swing crunching the forehand side of Ostapenko. With a double break now in question, Ostapenko responded with an important hold to keep the Czech at bay. However, as Kvitova remained rock solid behind her serve, the world No.31 found herself with the match on her racket, just inches away from closing out the opening set in timely fashion. As Kvitova’s unplayable shots left the former Roland Garros champion unable to respond; a shot rocketing into the air from Ostapenko led to the end of what was a formidable opening stanza.
Plugged into the mains of this women’s singles final; a whole trunk load of acute angled cross-court blasts from Kvitova saw her break the eighth seed for a third time in the match as she sprinted to the finish line. Yet, as the scoreboard pressure eased for the Czech, the thirteenth seed found herself in dangerous waters for the first time as Ostapenko began asking questions, threatening an immediate return of break. Despite the tempo intensifying, the 32-year-old answered to the Latvian knocking on the door with a monumental hold, followed by a double break to move her a step closer to completing the set of the most prestigious grass-court events in the UK.
Although her first serve percentage dwindled, her authority always remained as the ball sung out of the strings of her racket to close out the final showcase in one hour and 18 minutes.
Kvitova will approach Wimbledon with confidence having become the fifth player at 30+ years-old to win a title this year alongside the likes of Angelique Kerber and Shuai Shang.
“Whatever happens, happens,” the former Wimbledon champions said as she looked ahead to Wimbledon. “Of course, I will try to do my best as always. The one thing I know I will do is fight.”