WTA Doha: Petra Kvitova Edges Fellow Countrywoman Barbora Strycova

The fifth seed, Petra Kvitova was looking to reverse her slow start to the year where she has only one win out of five matches played. She went up against fellow countrywoman and Fed Cup teammate, Barbora Strycova for a berth in the third round at the Qatar Total Open. The lefty leads the head-to-head 5-1 and she went on to extend the record overcoming a tough fight from Strycova to earn a 7-6(2), 6-4 victory. 

Strycova Looked To Be In Control Before Kvitova Came Back Strongly

Kvitova looked tight as Strycova got off to a great start breaking her opponent and consolidated the break nicely to a 2-0 lead. Kvitova seemed to settle in her groove as she held to love to get on the scoreboard. The next two games followed on serve but it was the fifth seed who always looked more aggressive. She was rewarded for her efforts earning her triple break point on a poor Strycova game. Kvitova lashed onto a poor drop shot in a flash to get the break back and level proceedings at 3-3.

Kvitova was however unable to keep her momentum going as she found herself facing break points yet again. A double fault handed Strycova the lead once more who held her own game to lead 5-3. Kvitova struggled once more in her own service again presenting Strycova a set point. Strycova could not capitalize and Kvitova eventually dug out the hold.

Strycova could not convert set points | Photo courtesy of: Francois Nel/Getty Images
Strycova could not convert set points | Photo courtesy of: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Strycova was one game away from closing the set, but her serves were under constant pressure from Kvitova. The fifth seed breaks at the second opportunity to get back on serves. With the score at 5-5, both players held their service games to bring the set to a tiebreak.

In the tiebreak, it was a one=sided affair for Kvitova who raced to a 6-0 lead giving herself six chances to close the set. Strycova was still fighting as she won the subsequent two points. It was too little too late as Kvitova grabbed the first set on her third set point in a grueling 61 minutes. 

Tighter Second Set Before Kvitova Gets The One and Only Break

Most of the second set went on serves as both players were rarely troubled. Kvitova looked more comfortable in her service games as Strycova hung on. The fifth seed was first to get break points in the ninth game of the set. Strycova saved one with a good serve but followed it up with a disappointing double-fault handing the break to Kvitova who led 5-4 for the first time in the second set. Serving for the match, Kvitova went on to seal victory at the first time of asking, notching her second win of the year. 

Match Statistics

The aggressive Kvitova hit three times more winners than her opponent at 18. Though she hit more errors at 30 compared to Strycova's 20, it was all due to her pushing that bit more.

The fifth seed also created more break point opportunities and capitalized three times while Strycova only had three break chances and converted twice.