Wimbledon 2013: Former champion Petra Kvitova battles through to quarter-finals

 

Former champion Petra Kvitova battled her way through to the Wimbledon quarter-finals with victory over Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

The 2011 champion has not had a strong season but has found herself in a similar position to Andy Murray as seeds tumbled from the bottom half of the draw.

Early exits for Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki left Kvitova as the standout name, and the eighth seed booked her place in the quarter-finals today with a 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 victory over Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

Her title prospects then immediately appeared to improve when red-hot favourite Serena Williams, in the top half of the draw, was knocked out by Sabine Lisicki, but Kvitova is looking only one match ahead.

Next up for 23-year-old Kvitova is Belgian 20th seed Kirsten Flipkens, while 15th seed Marion Bartoli is the highest-ranked player she could meet in the semi-finals.

Kvitova said: "Everybody is talking about me being the highest seeded player in my half; I'm supposed to be already in the final. That's something it's not really easy to hear.

"The girls who are in these rounds, they are playing their best. They are in good form, they are in good shape. That's quite tricky."

The eighth seed had struggled through to the last 16 but played better tennis today on Court Three.

The first set was tight, with Kvitova breaking to lead 6-5 only for Suarez Navarro, who possesses an elegant one-handed backhand, to hit back and force a tie-break.

Kvitova edged that and then moved ahead with a break in the sixth game of the second set before serving out to love for the victory.

This is the third consecutive year that the Czech has reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals, and she was happiest with her mental strength today.

Kvitova said: "I didn't play my best, especially in the first set. But it's important to win the last point, which is what I did. It was important for me.

"Today was about my mental side, and I was quite positive. I think it helped me a lot to stay positive and fight for every point."

PA

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