Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, the fifth seed at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, played arguably her best match in as many months to send her opponent, qualifier Louisa Chirico out of the tournament. This win ends the Czech southpaw's two-match losing streak at the Premier-level tournament.
Kvitova, who only has six wins to her name thus far in 2016, looked set for a tough match against Chirico who came through qualifying, defeating the top seed in qualifying, Camila Giorgi, en route to earn her spot in the main draw. However, Chirico never looked quite settled in throughout the whole match. She was clearly overwhelmed by the Czech's power and variety as all she could do was just watch winners coming off the world number seven's racquet.
First set goes in favour of Kvitova
The match began with a comfortable love hold of the Kvitova serve. She then converted her first break point in the following game to lead 2-0. The following three games never went to deuce as she held her serve twice in a row, breaking Chirico once in the fourth game to find herself a game away from a opening set bagel.
From there, Kvitova raced through the closing game of the first set to set up three set points but Chirico managed to stave off the first two. The third opportunity was taken by the Czech to close the opening set in 24 minutes.
Kvitova survives mid-match challenge
Kvitova's last bagel set came against Chirico's compatriot Madison Brengle in Dubai, but she went on to lose that match and looked to avoid that same pattern here. Kvitova once again began by holding her serve to love and then converting her first break point in the following game to open up a 2-0 lead.
Another routine service hold preceded the longest game of the match with Chirico serving in the fourth game. Kvitova, who initially had two break points in that game, failed to convert any of them and it went to a deuce which saw the American bring up a further five game points and chances to get on the scoreboard. Unfortunately, they were all bravely put away by her opponent who eventually broke for a 4-0 lead.
Chirico finally landed her first break point in the following Kvitova service game but could not convert it as well. All seemed over for the American who was serving to stay in the match and avoid the double bagel a game later. The Czech did not give Chirico any chance to get on the scoreboard as she brought up two match points on the American's serve and successfully converted them to seal the match, her seventh win of 2016, in 56 minutes.
The score line accounted for Kvitova's game that was just clicking. She landed 29 winners compared to just 11 unforced errors and also delivered three aces. Chirico on the other hand was not given a chance to produce a single winner throughout the match. This win is a second career double bagel one for the Czech, having won her first in the opening round of Hobart in 2009, where she defeated Sally Peers in the opening round en route to winning her first career title.
Kvitova is projected to face either Monica Niculescu or Caroline Garcia in the second round. She lost her last encounters with both players, to Garcia in Toronto last year and Niculescu while on Fed Cup duty earlier in February. Her opponent will be decided on Wednesday.