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Kvitova scores big win in Birmingham

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Originally published on 23/06/17 00:00

It was significant victory for the two-time Wimbledon champion and she is steadily builidng momentum on her favourite surface ahead of the third Grand Slam of the year.

It was a combative contest between two big-hitters but it was the Czech who prevailed to set up a meeting with her Fed Cup teammate Lucie Safarova on Saturday.

"It was a close match," admitted Kvitova. "The second set was very close and I’m happy with how I managed to win it, but it was really tight. Kristina played better at the start and that made it difficult to hold serve and play well.

“Both of us play really fast on this surface. The grass suits her game as well, so it was about a few points here and there, just one or two key breaks in the match.”

In the first Centre Court match of the day, Safarova edged a gruelling three-hour quarter-final clash with Daria Gavrilova 6-7(4) 6-3 7-6(5).

The Czech, for the second time in the tournament, recovered from a precarious position to prolong her stay in the West Midlands. It could have been a more straightforward path to victory for Safarova if she had converted one of five set-point opportunities in a 70-minute first set.

After the lengthy contest, Safarova said: "I don't know what to say, it was such an amazing fight between the both of us and I'm so happy I won. I'm really happy with my game that I stayed positive and fought until the end. I had a few opportunities, but not really a real chance because she was serving well. I just believed that I could pull out the win.”

Garbine Muguruza is also through to the semi-final after Coco Vandeweghe retired with an injury prior to the start of the deciding set. She will play Ashleigh Barty who won also via retirement. Trailing 5-2 in the first set, Camila Giorgi was unable to continue.

At the Mallorca Open, 18-year-old Catherine Bellis continues to enjoy her first ever tournament on grass as she defeated Kristyna Pliskova 6-3 6-2 to reach the semi-finals. There were also quarter-final victories for Julia Görges, Caroline Garcia and Anastasija Sevastova.

Images © Getty Images

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