Kvitova wins Aegon Classic final for 1st title since attack

WTA Premier- Aegon Classic

Czech number seven seed Petra Kvitova secured a place in the final of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, her first since recovering from a career-threatening stabbing, after compatriot Lucie Safarova retired with a thigh injury.

Petra Kvitova continued her remarkable recovery by taking the WTA Birmingham title, beating Ashleigh Barty 4-6 6-3 6-2 in ideal preparation for Wimbledon.

The tournament's other Grand Slam victor, former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, also reached the semifinals, only her third of the year and the first on grass since she reached the final of Wimbledon almost two years ago.

The 27-year-old not only looked untroubled by her hand this week but also looked back to her best with her explosive serve often too much for Barty yesterday as she produced 13 aces. And she's one of the key figures in women's tennis; she's won two majors (Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014) and an Olympic bronze (2016), and has two other semifinal appearances (the Australian Open and the French Open in 2012), won the Tour Championships in 2011 and the WTA Elite Trophy in 2016.

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The momentum seemed to shift all on Kvitova's side in the latest part of the match. Of course I would like to play my best at Wimbledon but if I don't then I won't worry', , she told BBC Sport. This time, she put herself out of trouble with an ace and a good first serve and gained a chance to hold with a backhand victor. But Barty gained adrenaline and self-belief from her second set success, and five games in a row from 0-1 in the final set effectively decided the outcome. I didn't expect this in my second tournament after my comeback.

Eastbourne, which is a grass-court tournament, began last week; Kvitova was scheduled to enter after finishing the Aegon Classic. And I always said that I'm not here just to play tennis.

"I like to play finals on grass". "We love you and we missed you and we're glad to have you back on court". Falling 15-40 down after two return winners, Barty's forehand error caused her to get broken at the very start of the set. So I think that's important. I will not be sad if it's in a couple of weeks, but it's still a lot of work to do.

"The hand is good which is the best news I could have, and I am not feeling any pain €" and that's the best news", she repeated.

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