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    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    Comeback queen Kvitova wins Birmingham title

    Petra Kvitova clinched her first title in just her second tournament since returning from a career-threatening hand injury, defeating Australia´s Ashleigh Barty 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in Sunday´s Birmingham final.
    Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova was sidelined for five months as she recovered from severe injuries to her left playing hand suffered while fighting off a knife-wielding burglar at her home in the Czech Republic in December.
    "I like to play finals on grass. I wish there were more," said Kvitova.
    "It´s been an amazing tournament. But there is a lot of work to do. I could not have imagined a better comeback than I am having now."
    Kvitova, 27, returned at last month´s French Open, losing in the second round, but will head to Wimbledon as a leading contender for the women´s crown after landing her 20th career title.Petra Kvitová (Czech pronunciation: [ˈpɛtra ˈkvɪtovaː]; born 8 March 1990) is a Czech professional tennis player. Known for her powerful left-handed groundstrokes and variety, Kvitová turned professional in 2006 and has won 20 career singles titles, including two Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon. In addition to that, she is also an Olympic medallist, capturing the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She reached her career-high ranking of world no. 2 on 31 October 2011 and is ranked world no. 16 by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) as of 19 June 2017. As such, Kvitová is the current second highest-ranked Czech and the second highest-ranked left-handed player in the WTA behind Karolína Plíšková and Germany's Angelique Kerber, respectively.
    Kvitová first gained notice upon defeating then-world no. 1 Dinara Safina in the third round of the 2009 US Open. This was followed by her first Grand Slam semifinal appearance at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships where she came up short to eventual champion Serena Williams. Then, during her breakthrough season in 2011, Kvitová won her first Grand Slam title at the Wimbledon Championships, defeating Maria Sharapova in the final, thus becoming the first player of either gender born in the 1990s to win a Grand Slam title. She also won the WTA Tour Championships, thus becoming the third player to win the tournament on debut, the others being Williams and Sharapova. She also helped lead the Czech Republic to victory in the Fed Cup final that same year. It was the Czech Republic's first Fed Cup title as an independent nation.
    In 2012, Kvitová made the semifinals of the Australian Open and the French Open and was also crowned US Open Series champion. That same year, she also won the Hopman Cup alongside Tomáš Berdych which was the Czech Republic's second and most recent Hopman Cup title. In 2014, she won her second and most recent Grand Slam title at the Wimbledon Championships, defeating Eugenie Bouchard in the final. In 2015, Kvitová achieved the feat of making the quarterfinals at all four Grand Slams after advancing to her first quarterfinal at the US Open, where she lost to eventual champion Flavia Pennetta. In 2016, she won the WTA Elite Trophy in her first appearance at the tournament, thus becoming the first player ever to win both categories of year-ending championships on debut.
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    Item Reviewed: Comeback queen Kvitova wins Birmingham title Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar