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Petra Kvitova defeats Ashleigh Barty to win Aegon Classic title in Birmingham

Petra Kvitova defeats Ashleigh Barty to win Aegon Classic title in Birmingham”

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova beat Lucie Safarova in the semifinals on Saturday when her Czech compatriot retired injured at 6-1, 1-0 down; she will face Australia's Ashleigh Barty in Sunday's final after the world No. 77 recorded her first win against a top-20 player by beating No. 14 Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Then, Kvitova continued her momentum and was able to win the deciding set 6-2 in just her seventh match back from the attack.

This is Kvitova's first grass-court final since her triumph at 2014 Wimbledon, though this significant achievement was tinged with anti-climax as Safarova quit with a right thigh strain after only eight games.

Barty, who reached the final starting from qualifications, had defeated players such as Barbora Strycova and Garbiñe Muguruza on her way to the final; but, after winning the first set, she could little against an opponent who took total control of the match.

"I'm enjoying playing again", said the former world number two.

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Barty has come out of nowhere as of late and has displayed great shotmaking ability along with an aggressive return that's produced 13 breaks in her last four matches.

Petra Kvitova has qualified for her first final since her career-threatening stabbing.

Building on her advantage, Kvitova followed up with a second break before serving out strongly with an ace to seal her remarkable comeback success. I have to say through this week I was much better.

It was also about a missed opportunity which might have cost her the second set.

Barty won the Wimbledon junior singles in 2011 as a 15-year-old.

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"Obviously it's a big challenge for me tomorrow. So I'm happy that I managed to turn this match around".

And, to cap off an incredible tournament for Barty, she will partner Casey Dellacqua in the doubles final against Hao-ching and Chan Shuai Zhang.

From the start Kvitova's serving was nearly always rock solid, finding the lines and the angles but with Safarova struggling to push off a heavily strapped leg there would have always been one victor.

"For me it is important to use my slice on the grass and I love coming out here, slicing away and getting a bit of purchase on the ball and I was able to do that and it was really pleasing" Barty said.

She saved 4 out of 7 break points and she took rival's serve 5 times in sets and 3 to complete a comeback and lift the trophy, the one which will have a special place in her trophy room for sure. Kvitova said in her post-match press conference.

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This has a feel of a three setter all over it, but we would give Kvitova the edge to lift the title in just her second tournament back.



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