Svetlana Kuznetsova, Washington 2018

Former world number 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova has fallen to world number 128 due to injuries, but she’s slowing coming back to form, and on Saturday she claimed her 18th title, her first since Moscow 2016.
She had to battle hard in the final and saved four match points in the second set to defeat Donna Vekic 4-6 7-6(7) 6-2. She extended her tournament’s record to 11–0 and returned to the top 100 thanks to this victory.

Ekaterina Makarova was the defending champion, but lost in the first round to Ana Bogdan. Number one seed Caroline Wozniacki withdrew due to a leg injury while number 2 and 3 seeds Sloane Stephens and Naomi Osaka lost in the second round, to Andrea Petkovic and Magda Linette respectively.

Donna Vekic

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Donna Vekic

Donna Vekic, Svetlana Kuznetsova

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Petra Kvitova and Magdalena Rybarykova, Birmingham 2018

Defending champion Petra Kvitova rallied from a set down to defeat Magdalena Rybarikova 4-6 6-1 6-2 and claim her fifth title of the season.
2-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova didn’t drop a set en route to the final, beating Johanna Konta, Daria Gavrilova, Julia Georges and Mihaela Buzarnescu. She is one of the big favorite to capture the Wimbledon trophy in 3 weeks time.

“I didn’t really expect to win here. I just played match by match, being very happy to be on the grass and the tennis court. For me, I’m surprised.”

It was also a great week for Rybarikova who defeated number 3 seed Karolina Pliskova, Kristina Mladenovic, qualifier Dalila Jakupovic and Barbora Strycova to advance to the second Premier tournament final of her career. The previous one being at the Connecticut Open in New Heaven in 2014 where she was beaten by … Petra Kvitova.

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova & Magda Rybarikova

Petra Kvitova & Magda Rybarikova

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova & Magda Rybarikova

Petra Kvitova & Magda Rybarikova

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

Photo credit: Peter Menzel

Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos, Birmingham 2018

Winners of the Australian Open in January, Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic defeated Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs to lift their second trophy of the year, and as a pair.

Timea Babos & Kiki Mladenovic

Timea Babos & Kiki Mladenovic

Timea Babos

Timea Babos & Kiki Mladenovic

Timea Babos & Kiki Mladenovic

Timea Babos & Kiki Mladenovic

Timea Babos & Kiki Mladenovic

Photo credit: Peter Menzel

Petra Kvitova, Birmingham 2017

2-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova suffered a career-threatening injury when she was attacked last December at her home in the Czech Republic by a knife-wielding attacker. She came back to competition at Roland Garros, where she beat Julia Boserup and lost to Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round. (Check out the recap of my 3 days at Roland 2017 ).

And in her second tournament of the year, back to the grass courts she cherishes, she defeated Tereza Smitkova, Naomi Broady, Kristina Mladenovic, Lucie Safarova to advance to the Birmingham final.
She rallied back from a set down to defeat Ashleigh Barty 4-6 6-3 6-2.

“I was nervous. It wasn’t the normal nerves as I had before. It’s my first final after such a long time, and it was a bit difficult to handle. I struggled a lot. It’s nice when you win and you’re playing well, but most of the times the best days are when you win even if you are not playing well. So I’m happy that I was able to win it anyway.”

Well done Petra and good luck for the rest of the season!

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

Photo credit: Peter Menzel

Nadal, Barcelone 2017

Rafa Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev on the men’s side, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina and Kristina Mladenovic on the women’s side have dominated the clay court season; while world number ones Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber appeared in big trouble. Here’s our recap of who won what.

Men

Marrakech: Borna Coric

Runner-up in Marrakech last year, Borna Coric came back from the brink, saved 5 match points to overcome Philip Kohlschreiber and capture his maiden ATP title.

Monte Carlo: Rafael Nadal

Rafa‘s reign in Monte Carlo continues: he defeated fellow Spaniard Ramos-Vinolas, who stunned Andy Murray en route to his maiden Masters 1000 final. With that victory, Nadal became the first man in the Open Era to win 10 titles at a tournament, and the first to win 50 clay-court titless, surpassing Guillermo Vilas (49).


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