Petra Kvitova finally rises to another big occasion

 

dubai

Petra Kvitova underlined her reputation as a big-occasion player when she beat Sara Errani 6-2 1-6 6-1 to win the Dubai Duty Free Championships here last night. In claiming her first title for six months the 2011 Wimbledon champion restored belief that she can be among the group of players capable of winning the biggest prizes.

Eight of Kvitova's 10 titles have been at either Grand Slam or Premier level – the latter being the eight most important events on the Women's Tennis Association tour – but there have been times when the 22-year-old Czech has struggled. This was only her third title since her Wimbledon victory.

When Kvitova is in full flight, bludgeoning the ball with great power from both flanks, no woman hits it harder. She is still the only player born in the 1990s who has won a Grand Slam title and clearly has time on her side.

Although Kvitova has never been the best of movers, when you hit the ball as hard as she does it hardly matters. The world No 8, who will climb one place in the rankings tomorrow, is trying to improve her speed around the court, but maintaining belief in her big-hitting game will remain the key to her future.

Kvitova, who had not lost a set in her first three meetings with Errani, broke the 25-year-old Italian to love in the opening game. At 0-3 down Errani sent for her coach, Pablo Lozano. The world No 7 finally won a game at the fifth attempt and then broke to trail 4-2, but Kvitova responded in kind and served out for the set after 36 minutes.

Errani, nevertheless, put herself back in contention with a bold change of tactics. At just 5ft 4in and 9st 6lb the Italian usually relies on her athleticism and artistry, but after being blasted off the court in the first set she decided the best form of defence was attack.

Kvitova appeared as surprised as anybody as Errani took control of the second set with a combination of serve-and-volley and chip-and-charge. She hit some fine volleys and in taking time away from Kvitova made the Czech look distinctly uncomfortable.

David Kotyza, Kvitova's coach, has been on holiday for the last week, so it was down to her to find a way out of the situation. She saved a break point in the opening game of the decider, fought back from 0-40 down two games later and kept going for her shots. As Errani quickly faded, Kvitova seized the initiative back and won the last five games to take the match.

"I think I stayed focused and calm," Kvitova said afterwards. "That was really important after I lost the second set. I had to stay with my aggressive game."

 



Suggested Topics
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits