Kvitova wins Aegon Classic final for 1st title since attack

Ashleigh Barty ranked 77th in the world has earned the earned the chance to win a second WTA title

Just seven months after being stabbed on her playing hand, two time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has already reached her first final in just her second tournament since making her return.

The tournament's other Grand Slam victor, Muguruza, reached the semifinals for only her third time this year and the first on grass since reaching the final of Wimbledon almost two years ago. Kvitova was leading 6-1, 1-0.

Friday's other victor was former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza who got through after unseeded American CoCo Vandeweghe fell and hurt her ankle.

Years between Petra Kvitova's titles won on grass. "I didn't have expectations of any goals or of winning tournaments", said Kvitova. "I am not feeling any pain".

The two-time Wimbledon champion sustained serious hand injuries when an intruder broke into her apartment and attacked her last December. "I could not have imagined a better comeback than I am having now". But she remained reluctant to agree that she was now one of the players who could win Wimbledon.

Nevertheless, Petra was focused in game 9, bringing the set home with a comfortable hold, forcing the decider with the momentum on her side. Kvitova captured 14 of the first 15 points, and the first five games. "I wish I could have more - I won't be sad if it is in a couple of weeks (at Wimbledon) but there is still a lot of work to be done", she said in her on-court interview after after landing her 20th career title.




She then chose 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. "So this is quite a dream".

"It was nice to lose the first set, and that I had to fight for the second and for the third", Kvitova said.

"Congratulations to Petra. You are an inspiration, a champion, we love you, we missed you and it is fantastic to have you back on court", said Barty.

Muguruza called for her coach, sought to swing the ball around, and eventually just tried to scrap as best she could.

Kvitova raised her level in set number 2, breaking Barty in games 2 and 6 for a 5-1 advantage, before the younger player pulled one break back in game 7, reducing the deficit to 5-2.

It was Safarova's second success against a seed this week, her victory over the ninth-seeded Australian following another in the first round against the third-seeded Slovakian, Dominika Cibulkova, when Safarova saved two match points.

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