Kvitova lines up Buzarnescu meeting in Birmingham semis

Magdalena Rybarikova Birmingham 2018

Kvitova lines up Buzarnescu meeting in Birmingham semis

Petra Kvitova displayed her credentials for a third Wimbledon title after beating Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 to defend her title at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham Sunday.

And despite being broken in the decider, Kvitova responded by breaking Rybarikova three more times to wrap up what ultimately proved to be a convincing win.

Kvitova has now claimed five WTA titles this season, as well as winning a women's tour-leading 37 matches over the last six months. "I really managed to focus and play well", Buzarnescu said after the match. "I know definitely she likes to play on grass, I remember our last meeting in New Haven in a final as well, so it'll be fun to watch and fun to play, hopefully".

"It's incredible to defend a title", Kvitova said courtside. She has not had a great deal of success on the grass, but her brand of tennis is something that has translated substantially on all surfaces and it is something that Kvitova will be wary on in the second face-off on Saturday's semifinal day. She broke serve to lead 5-3 in the first set, and then broke to lead 4-3 in the second. She tends to play with a lot of aggression, using her power to create plenty of winners. But if she is, then for me it's a great tournament. "So you think how to get it a little bit different, which I did after a few games".

"I'm nearly always expected to win, so it's never really easy going into a match in a semifinal at a tournament that I really like".

"We're good friends [Magdalena and I], so it'll be a fun final". I was just keeping up the good performance on it. "Magdalena put me under pressure with her (service) returns. I kept her longest in the match today". "When I was practicing before coming here, I couldn't really imagine to be here all week". I mean, the first match, that was awesome match for me, to beat Karolina [Pliskova].

Rybarikova started well, with Kvitova showing more nerves than the Slovak in the early stages.

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