Birmingham Classic | Kvitova reaches the semis
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, competing in only her second tournament since her playing hand was injured in a knife attack at her home, has advanced to the semifinals at the Aegon Classic following a 6-4 7-6(5) win over Kristina Mladenovic.
She is very highly ranked (12) and for me it is only the second tournament in my comeback. I was very happy with my performance Petra Kvitova
The Czech is showing no ill effects in her racket hand as she struck the ball comfortably and moved about the court with regular forays into the net.
She did have a stroke of luck when she converted her second match point with a net-cord in the tiebreak having served two double faults when trying to close out the match at 5-3.
“I am sorry for what happened at match point but I am very happy to win,” Kvitova said. “She is very highly ranked (12) and for me it is only the second tournament in my comeback. I was very happy with my performance.”
Kvitova next plays fellow Czech and friend since childhood, Safarova, who had her own drama, saving match points for the second time this week.
She recovered from 5-3 down in the final set to beat Daria Gavrilova 6-7(4) 6-3 7-6(5).
Earlier in the week Safarova saved two match points against third-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in the first round and three against Gavrilova in a what was an extremely entertaining three-hour contest.
“We practice a lot together. We know each other well from the Fed Cup” said Kvitova of Safarova. “She’s playing well on the grass. I just think that we know each other well, on the court as well. And sometimes the score looks a bit easier, but it’s not always like that and it’s about a few points in the set. That’s how I think it will be tomorrow as well.”
In the other half the tournament’s other Grand Slam winner, Garbine Muguruza, survived a powerful assault against CoCo Vandeweghe who eventually had to retire with an injured ankle picked up in her opening match and which she aggravated when she fell in the second set.
Just a few points into the third set she threw in the towel with the score standing at 4-6 6-3 30-love
“I feel that I’m doing something good because I’m winning and I’m keeping alive in the draw,” Muguruza said. “So I’m happy because I came here early to prepare, and I trained, I put hours (in) there. So I’m happy that what our team thought was going to be good for the tournament is working. So, so far we are proud that it’s working.”
Muguruza next plays Ashleigh Barty, who was leading Giorgi 5-2 when she became the second injury retirement on the day.
JUNE 23, 2017
Singles – Quarterfinals
 [WC] P. Kvitova (CZE) d  K. Mladenovic (FRA) 64 76(5)
 G. Muguruza (ESP) d C. Vandeweghe (USA) 46 64 00 Retired
L. Safarova (CZE) d  D. Gavrilova (AUS) 67(4) 63 76(5)
A. Barty (AUS) d [Q] C. Giorgi (ITA) 52 Retired