Petra Kvitova recovers to beat Magdalena Rybarikova and triumph in Edgbaston


After breaking serve twice in the first set, Kvitova broke twice more in the second.

The Czech No. 2 behind Karolina Pliskova is also through to her fifth final of the year, and has now overtaken Simona Halep with the most wins on tour this season, with 36. "I didn't start well in Australia, but now I can't imagine a better season so far". "The nerves are always there, and I just try to play as well as I can and win".

She will face defending champion Petra Kvitova in the final - and much like with Strycova, she has a long-standing friendship with Kvitova. She has not had a great deal of success on the grass, but her brand of tennis is something that has translated substantially on all surfaces and it is something that Kvitova will be wary on in the second face-off on Saturday's semifinal day.

Kvitova hadn't dropped a set in Birmingham but was tested by Rybarikova before eventually prevailing 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. "She's an incredible player, so young and so many achievements until now and so many to come".

If she maintains this high level for another three weeks, everything seems possible for Kvitova, whose career looked seriously in doubt 18 months ago after a knife attack at her home in December 2016 which led to surgery for her left playing hand.

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"Maybe she was the favorite because she beat me before, and I think it was a very good match and we had some fun on the court". "I needed a little bit of time to get used to spins and slices and volleys and whatever she plays", she added. "It was hard to fight back, and I have to try to be calmer".

Kvitova and Rybarikova were the only two former champions in the 32-player singles draw and each already has a place on an illustrious list of former winners which includes Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Li Na, Maria Sharapova, Pam Shriver and Magdalena Maleeva. "We're good friends, so it'll be a fun final".

"I think it will be fun for both of us", Kvitova said.

"I knew it was going to be a tough match", said the 29-year-old. "This is an awesome result for me".