Petra Kvitova and Elena Vesnina crossed paths for the first time and it was the the two-time Wimbledon champion and fifth seed Kvitova who proved too hot for the resurging Vesnina. Thus, Kvitova's title defence at the Mutua Madrid Open continues.
Kvitova grabs the sole break to take the opening set
The match kicked off with both players holding their serve. Vesnina then found herself with a break opportunity in the third game with Kvitova serving but could not convert it. After trading holds of serve once again in the ensuing two games, the Czech took her third break point to go up 4-2.
Clinging to this break for the remainder of the set, Kvitova did not seem troubled by her Russian opponent as she routinely served out the set on her second set point to take the set lead in approximately 35 minutes after a Vesnina backhand return sailed long.
Winners off Kvitova's racket assures victory
The first six service games of the second set saw both players routinely holding their serves with neither facing a single break point. Kvitova clearly became more aggressive as the match reached its concluding stages. The Czech wasted no time in breaking her opponent for a 4-3 lead.
Vesnina, however, was not going down without a fight, giving one last push by earning herself a break point in the following game. This turned out to be the last point won by the Russian as her opponent went on to hold her serve and was now one game away from the win. Kvitova then created three match points and broke her opponent to love for the victory. The match concluded in an hour an 15 minutes.
Although she served five aces, Kvitova threw in a high seven double faults. In the second set particularly, she made just 39% of first serves. Her rather lull service day, however, was overshadowed by the fact that she made 32 winners and 20 unforced erros.
Vesnina, on the other hand, who managed fewer unforced errors, finished with only ten winners but had a greater overall first serve percentage than her opponent (72 for Vesnina to 47 for Kvitova). Contrarily, Vesnina, who is the more experienced one at the net, won just three of six net points as opposed to Kvitova's five out of six.
Daria Gavrilova, who sent 12th seed Elina Svitolina packing, will be Kvitova's next opponent. The Czech will seek to avenge her loss to the Australian in the second round of the Australian Open earlier this year.