Kvitova reaches 1st final since attack

Back in December, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was attacked in her Czech Republic home by a knife-wielding intruder and suffered significant injuries to her racket-holding left hand.

Petra Kvitova's comeback from a lengthy injury layoff gathered further momentum on Saturday as she reached the Aegon Classic final in Birmingham after Lucie Safarova retired from their semi-final with a leg injury. Kvitova hopes to win hr first title since the 2016 WTA Elite Trophy and her 20th title for her career.

Kvitova is set to take on Australian Ashleigh Barty in the finals of the Aegon Classic, who herself has a very interesting story leading up to this match.

Mladenovic's serve at 5-6 looked good enough to win the point and draw her level again, with Kvitova's return appearing about to slide wide.

She then decided to make her return to the tennis court 12 months ago at the 50k ITF tournament in Eastbourne where she managed to reach the semi-finals.

Barty continued her impressive run as she qualified for the WTA event in Nottingham and reached the quarter-finals. Winning a tournament in her second try after her career was in jeopardy would be incredible for Kvitova.

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But she has shown at Edgbaston that she is building up her form nicely before her return to Wimbledon, where she triumphed in 2011 and 2014. Although she is ranked 77 she buckled down and fought back after dropping the first set to GarbiƱe Muguruza. I was very young back then, but yeah, she actually wiped the floor with me, so hopefully we can turn the tables a little bit tomorrow. "I couldn't play for five or six months and I missed it", added Kvitova.

It's pretty remarkable how well Kvitova's recovered, and how she's managed to keep her focus so positive despite the very bad injury she suffered.

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. "I am happy that I am able to show good tennis here". So yeah, I think it's kind of a fairy tale. She's making the game, she's changing direction a lot, slice, some volleys drop shot, something like that.

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. "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" she said.

Vandeweghe injured a foot in her opening match which, she said, contributed to her tumble in the second set.

Kvitova and Barty are scheduled on Centre Court, at 1:30pm BST.
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(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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