After an inconsistent start to the 2020 season, Petra Kvitova is finally showing the confidence that one expects her to strike the ball with. The two-time Wimbledon champion held her nerves in a thriller to get the better of the World No.1 Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 yesterday to reach her first final of the year at the Qatar Open.
With the Australian having won their last four meetings, she was never supposed to be an easy opponent for the Czech. But the way Kvitova cut down her errors at the key moments and found her brilliant shotmaking spoke volumes of the fact that she is very much back.
It hadn't been an easy week for Kvitova. She was stretched to three sets in three of her four matches. But the fighting spirit and her ability to raise her game under pressure were what helped her find a victory.
That bodes well ahead of her Qatar Open final showdown with the World No. 13 Aryna Sabalenka. Endowed with an attacking game, the young Belarusian displayed her tenacity and stamina in the two three-setters she played against the dangerous Anett Kontaveit and Saisai Zheng. Against the 15th seed Maria Sakkari, Sabalenka hardly made a mistake in her thumping 6-3, 6-0 win. She exhibited the same conviction in a commanding 6-4, 6-3 win against two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semi-finals.
Sabalenka should be well prepared to take on Kvitova, whom she has got the better of once in their three meetings. Kvitova's long matches too could finally take a toll on her if the summit clash goes the distance. Physically, Sabalenka has the edge, but Kvitova has the experience of winning this title in 2018 and that could make a difference in the final.
Here's all you need to know about Qatar Open 2020 Schedule:
Tournament: Qatar Total Open 2020
Category: WTA Premier 5
City: Doha, Qatar
Venue: Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex
Prize money: $3,240,445
Tournament schedule: February 23-29, 2020
Match Schedule: Petra Kvitova vs Aryna Sabalenka vs final match not before 8:30 pm IST on Saturday, February 29, 2020
Head-to-head: Kvitova leads 2-1
Live Telecast: There will be no live telecast in India
Live Scores: Click herePublished 29 Feb 2020, 16:52 IST