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13 - 21 June 2020

Nature Valley Classic

Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham

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Nature Valley Classic: Kvitova and Rybarikova to battle for Birmingham crown

  • 2019 WTA International logo
  • 23/06/2018

  • Major Events

Defending champion Petra Kvitova will take on 2009 winner Magdalena Rybarikova in Sunday’s Nature Valley Classic singles final at the Edgbaston Priory Club. 

Rybarikova came through an entertaining and tightly-contested semi-final against Barbora Strycova 7-6(1), 6-4 on Saturday, before Kvitova put in a trademark display of power and precision to beat Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 6-2 to earn herself a shot at another title in Birmingham. 

Kvitova and Rybarikova were the only two former champions in the 32-player singles draw and both already have a place on an illustrious list of former winners which includes Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Li Na, Maria Sharapova, Pam Shriver and Magdalena Maleeva. 

In the tournament’s 38-year history, only King, Shriver, Navratilova, Zina Garrison, Natalie Tauziat and Sharapova have won the tournament twice. Kvitova would become the first player since Maria Sharapova in 2004 and 2005 to lift the famous Maud Watson Trophy in back-to-back years, a feat only three other players - King, Shriver, Lori McNeil - have achieved. 

Kvitova and Rybarikova have played six times, with Kvitova winning five of those encounters, although this will be their first meeting on grass.  “I think she (Rybarikova) is a different kind of player on the grass,” said Kvitova.

“Definitely she showed in the result last year at Wimbledon as well here. She likes to mix the game a lot, approaching to the net, playing volleys, playing slice. That's kind of great to have different opponents with different style that you can be really prepare for the next matches. I'm thinking positive. It's the final, so I like playing final.”

Rybarikova and Kvitova are good friends off the court and Rybarikova said that while she was looking forward to being on court with Kvitova, she was well aware of the challenge facing her: “Petra is really one of my best friends also on tour. She's really an amazing girl. We have known each other for so long - it's going to be quite funny to play her.

“When she's on fire, you can go shake her hand and say, ‘Okay, I just want to leave from here’. She plays absolutely amazing. For me, Petra is one of the best players when she is playing really on fire. So we will see how it's going to be her day tomorrow. Hopefully she is not going to be on fire!”

In doubles, top seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic maintained their straight sets record in Birmingham this week by defeating Czech fourth seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 7-5, 7-6(6). Babos and Mladenovic will face Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs in Sunday's second final of the day following their 6-3, 2-6, [10-7] victory over Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke. 


Limited tickets for the final of the Nature Valley Classic are still available. Find out how to secure your tickets here and read more about other British Tennis events, including the Fever-Tree Championships.