Tennis: Kvitova into Birmingham semis, will face Safarova

Kvitova celebrates winning her quarter final match.
Kvitova celebrates winning her quarter final match.PHOTO: REUTERS

BIRMINGHAM, England (REUTERS) – Czech Petra Kvitova moved into the Aegon Classic semi-finals with a 6-4 7-6(5) win over France’s Kristina Mladenovic on Friday (June 23).

The seventh seed, twice Wimbledon champion, is playing in her second tournament after a lengthy layoff with a hand injury, suffered during a knife attack at her home in December.

“Both of us play really fast on this surface, the grass suits her game as well, so it was about a few points here in three, one or two key breaks in the match,” Kvitova said.

It took a second-set tiebreak and one hour 43 minutes for Kvitova to secure the win which sets up a semi-final clash with compatriot Lucie Safarova.

Safarova came through a marathon battle with Australian Daria Gavrilova, triumphing 6-7(4) 6-3 7-6(5).

Safarova saved three match-points in the deciding set and rallied to win the last four points of the third set tiebreak to end the three-hour contest on top.

“It was such an amazing fight between the both of us and I am so happy that I won,” Safarova said.

“I stayed positive until the end. I had a few opportunities but she was serving well. I just believed that I could pull it out and win it,” she added.

Later on Friday, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza takes on American Coco Vandeweghe and Australian Ashleigh Barty faces Camila Giorgi of Italy.