Petra Kvitova showed she will be a serious contender at Wimbledon after beating Australian Ashleigh Barty 4-6 6-3 6-2 to win the Aegon Classic in Birmingham on Sunday, in just her second tournament since returning from a knife attack injury.
The Czech, a Wimbledon winner in 2011 and 2014, suffered a knife attack during a robbery at her home in December that left her with a damaged hand and sidelined her until last month’s French Open.
The 27-year-old not only looked untroubled by her hand this week, but she also looked back to her best, with her explosive serve often too much for Barty on Sunday as she produced 13 aces.
She served out for the title in emphatic fashion – to love and ending with an ace – and celebrated in her typical understated style, with a broad smile.
Her last final on grass was her triumph at Wimbledon three years ago against Eugenie Bouchard, and while her talk on arrival at Edgbaston was purely about her delight to be playing again, she clearly has bigger goals now.
Grass, I think I love you ♥️🌱 pic.twitter.com/aGTUUgrI1U
“I like to play finals on grass. 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 in her on-court interview.
“It was an amazing week, an amazing tournament. From my first hits on the grass, I felt great, it was encouraging to get into the grass season.
“I came to play, to improve my game. I didn’t really have any expectation. I wanted to play my best, which I showed today, and I hope I can keep doing that,” she added.