Saint Petersburg: Czech Petra Kvitova brushed aside defending champion Kristina Mladenovic of France in straight sets on Sunday to claim the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy, her 21st WTA crown.
Two-time former Wimbledon champion Kvitova, who appeared in the main draw courtesy of a wildcard, prevailed 6-1, 6-2 to chalk up her fifth win from six meetings with fourth seed Mladenovic, who is ranked 10th in the world.
World number 29 Kvitova broke Mladenovic's serve twice to take the opening set in half an hour. The 27-year-old broke her French opponent’s serve twice more in the second set to seal the match in just over an hour.
“This was a special tournament for me,” Kvitova said in her on-court interview.
“All week, I played unbelievable matches and I really had to fight to make the final. It is not easy at the beginning of the year. I had to focus hard for the win.”
The Czech left-hander gave few opportunities on her serve to Mladenovic, firing nine aces and saving all three break points faced in front of a buoyant Sibur Arena crowd.
“Coming into this week, there was a lot of pressure and I don’t think many people expected me to show up in the finals,” the 24-year-old Mladenovic said in her runner-up speech.
“I fought very hard every single match to make it back here but Petra had an amazing week.”
The Czech left-hander also impressed on serve, firing seven aces and winning 81 percent of points on first serve.
The victory meant Kvitova maintained her streak of winning at least one WTA title since 2011 and now moves back up to world number 21, while German semi-finalist Julia Goerges will make her top-10 debut in Monday’s rankings.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Feb 05, 2018 11:02 AM