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Comeback queen Petra Kvitova wins Birmingham title

Comeback queen Petra Kvitova wins Birmingham title

The two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat Ashleigh Barty of Australia, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, Sunday in the Aegon Classic final to win her first title since her playing hand was injured in a knife attack at her home in the Czech Republic.

Petra Kvitova completed a remarkable comeback by winning the Aegon Classic on Sunday just six months after she was stabbed through the left hand that won her two Wimbledon titles.

Kvitova took the opening set 6-1 against Safarova and was leading 1-0 in the second after breaking serve when the world number 41 could not continue because of a troubling thigh strain in her right leg, which had been heavily strapped.

The popular, grasscourt loving Czech did that with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) win over Kristina Mladenovic, the fifth-seeded French player, achieved her last-four spot in what is only her second tournament since her comeback.

Mladenovic's serve at 5-6 looked good enough to win the point and draw her level again, with Kvitova's return appearing about to slide wide.

On a good day for former Wimbledon champions - Roger Federer thrashed Alexander Zverev to take the Halle Open for the ninth time - Kvitova displayed the same mental toughness which has helped her physical recovery.

"It is fantastic to see Kvitova back, and she is a weapon on grass, so hopefully I have nothing to lose in the final".

"I could not have imagined a comeback better than the one I am having now", she said. "I wish I could have more - I won't be sad if it is in a couple of weeks [at Wimbledon] but there is still a lot of work to be done", she said.

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It was also about a missed opportunity which might have cost her the second set.

Kvitova, 16th in the world, is looking forward to facing the 21-year-old Barty, ranked No. 77 and advancing to the biggest final of her career.

"Obviously it's a big challenge for me tomorrow".

His serve was dominant until the final game of the second set, when he went 0-40 and was broken on the second set point.

Barty was ebullient. "I executed exactly the way I wanted to", she said. "And yeah, I mean I'm happy that I'm in the final, but the way I am going is a bit weird". I'm happy how I managed to win it, but it was really tight. "But I felt like the wind came stronger and I couldn't hold my serve and I wasn't able to really hit it perfectly as before".

Kvitova next plays fellow Czech and friend since childhood, Safarova, who had her own drama, saving match points for the second time this week. So yeah, I think it's kind of a fairy tale. "She's just super talented".

This has a feel of a three setter all over it, but we would give Kvitova the edge to lift the title in just her second tournament back.

There are not very many natural grass court players out there.

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