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Kvitova back on song in Linz

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Originally published on: 17/10/11 10:15

Petra Kvitova had won just five matches – and lost just as many – since gazumping Maria Sharapova for the biggest title of her career at Wimbledon, but the 21-year-old Czech re-discovered her best form to coast to victory at the Generali Ladies Linz.

Trumping Dominika Cibulkova 6-4 6-1, the world No.4 picked up her fifth title of the year, and the sixth of her career, at the WTA International tournament in Austria to add to her commanding early season triumphs in Brisbane, Paris, Madrid and at Wimbledon.

“It wasn’t as clear as the result suggests,” said Kvitova after inflicting a third defeat in a WTA final on Cibulkova. “It was only easy for me towards the end.”

The win leaves Kvitova perfectly primed for the year-end TEB BNP WTA Championships in Istanbul, at which she will feature for the first time thanks largely to the excellent early season form that culminated in her first Grand Slam triumph on the lawns of SW19.

“I’m going to go home and have one week of preparation, then I’m going to Istanbul on Saturday,” said the Czech. “I’m just going to practice.

“I’m really looking forward to my first Championships and going to Istanbul.”

Meanwhile, US Open champion Sam Stosur was comfortably beaten by Marion Bartoli in the final of the HP Japan Women’s Open Tennis 2011 final as the Frenchwoman kept her slim hopes of a place in Istanbul alive with her seventh WTA title.

Bartoli needs back-to-back titles in Osaka and Moscow, while Agnieszka Radwanska – her rival for the last spot in Istanbul – also needs to lose in the first round in Moscow if the former Wimbledon finalist is to steal a place in the year-end showpiece tournament. But while she has kept her end of the bargain so far with victory in Osaka, Bartoli is trying hard to avoid keeping a beady eye on the fortunes of her closest rival for a place in Istanbul.

“I’m trying not to think a lot about [it],” she said. “I’m very happy with the way I’m playing. I’m going to rush to Moscow now and hope to keep playing well there.”

As for her performance in Osaka, Bartoli attributed her triumph to her feeling of comfort in the far East.

“I love to play in Japan,” she said. “I love this country. Everyone is so friendly.”

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