Doha: Petra Kvitova fought back from a set down against Garbine Muguruza on Sunday to win the Qatar Open, a victory which will take her back into the world's top 10.
Kvitova overcame an awful start which saw her lose the first five games to eventually triumph 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
It is the first time Kvitova has been ranked among the world's elite since a horrific knife attack at her home in December 2016 left her with an injured hand.
"I remember sometime last year when I was asked about this, I couldn't even dream of it," she said. "It's a very special feeling to be back."
The win in Doha is the Czech star's second title of the season and 22nd career tournament victory.
It also extended her current winning streak to 13 matches, just one short of her career record.
She also beat four players in the top 10 this week in Doha, including World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki, to take the title.
Kvitova began the year ranked No 29, but already won earlier this month in St Petersburg.
Her shaky start in Sunday's final extended to the second set, where Muguruza had break points in three separate service games.
She was unable to convert though and gradually Kvitova began to dominate and then broke the Spaniard's serve to edge ahead 4-2.
The third set followed a similar pattern, with Muguruza still having chances and even failed to take three break points in the fourth game of the decider.
It proved to be fatal as Kvitova not only held her serve but immediately broke the Spaniard's to take a lead in the match for the first time - an advantage she never relinquished.
Muguruza finished the game with heavy strapping on her left knee.
"I had a little bit of a struggle in the beginning with injury but I'm happy that I made the final," she said.
Despite the defeat, Muguruza will move up one position in the rankings, making her the World No 3.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Feb 19, 2018 09:15:38 IST