Petra Kvitova’s incredible story continued at the US Open as she claimed an emotional victory over the reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, who also happened to be the provisional world number one in the live rankings, in the fourth round of competition.
Recovering from a 1-4 deficit in the first set, no one would have expected Kvitova to fight back and take the win in straight sets and dictate play from start to finish. It was truly an amazing performance from the Czech, who storms to the quarterfinals for a clash with Venus Williams.
No one could have expected the out-of-form Kvitova to reach the last eight at Flushing Meadows at the start of the fortnight, perhaps even Kvitova herself. But yet, she looked sharp throughout the week and therefore earned a well-deserved spot in the quarterfinals.
Kvitova fights back from huge deficit and steals the set in a tiebreak
Muguruza came into the match losing only nine games in her first three matches, looking high on confidence as she goes for the number one ranking this fortnight as well. She played absolutely like a top player, ignoring the pressure and consistently playing her best tennis. However, she looked shaky on her serve in the opening game but still managed to get the perfect start with the help of several unforced errors by the Czech.
Kvitova soon followed suit as she blasted three consecutive winners to get on the scoreboard. Playing with well-controlled aggression, Muguruza placed her serves well and forced Kvitova to be on the defense for a 2-1 lead. The two-time Wimbledon champion was the first to blink, though, failing to find her first serves as she threw in a couple of unforced errors, including a drive volley error on break point, to gift Muguruza the first break of serve.
A smash winner then helped the Spaniard consolidate the break before Kvitova started to find her groove, claiming three straight games to return level having wasted three break points in the sixth game. Some sloppy service games from Muguruza soon saw Kvitova serving for the set, but a double fault gave the advantage back to her as the set proceeded into a tiebreak. From 2-3 down, Kvitova rattled off the next five points to clinch the first set after 64 minutes of play.
Kvitova strolls to clinch the win, seals quarterfinal spot
Shaking off the disappointment of losing the first set, Muguruza made the perfect start to the second as the vulnerability of the Czech’s backhand reflected on the scoreboard, allowing the Spaniard to take the early lead. However, Kvitova was quick to fight back as Muguruza failed to keep the high level of play behind her serve, throwing in several cheap errors to gift the advantage back.
Unexpectedly, it was a destructive run of four straight games by Kvitova as she claimed 16 of the 19 points in the process and came up with some incredible shots which left Muguruza helpless. The world number three finally stopped the rout with a confidence-boosting service hold in the sixth game, but Kvitova’s strong first serves put her just one game away from the victory, opening up a huge 5-2 lead.
With nothing going right for the Spaniard in the second set, she was a point away from defeat while serving to stay in the match. There, Muguruza displayed what is needed of a top player — Determination. She rose back from the brink despite the huge deficit and held her serve, forcing Kvitova to serve it out.
Nerves could have gotten to the Czech as she faced three break points, but on each occasion, Muguruza’s unforced errors proved to be costly and Kvitova was finally able to find a match point on her serve. Being second time lucky, the 13th seed eventually completed the upset and did what no one imagined her to do at the start of the week, reaching the quarterfinals after an hour and 46 minutes of powerful tennis.