Petra Kvitova Wins All-Czech Final Over Karolina Pliskova in Sydney

Updated: 16 January 2015 18:18 IST

Reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova downed her rising compatriot Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (8/6).

Petra Kvitova Wins All-Czech Final Over Karolina Pliskova in Sydney
Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova pose with their trophies. © AP

Sydney:

Petra Kvitova edged out fellow Czech Karolina Pliskova in two tiebreak sets to win the Sydney International on Friday.

The reigning Wimbledon champion downed her rising compatriot 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (8/6) to send her into next week's Australian Open full of confidence.

Kvitova quelled Pliskova's tenacious challenge in one hour and 52 minutes to secure her 15th career title.

It was Kvitova's third win in Australia following her victory in the 2009 Hobart International and the 2011 Brisbane International before she went on to win the first of her two Wimbledon crowns in 2011.

Kvitova is the world number four and was Friday drawn in Serena Williams' top half at the Australian Open, setting the stage for a potential semi-final against the world number one.

A former Australian Open junior champion, Pliskova took the fight to Kvitova, breaking the tournament's second seed in the second game of the final to seize an early initiative.

But Kvitova clubbed two forehand winners and then unleashed a scorching backhand pass to break back as Pliskova tried to serve out the opening set at 5-4.

After snatching the first set in a tiebreaker, Kvitova claimed an early break in the second and looked headed for a routine win.

Pliskova had other ideas, drawing back on level terms in the sixth game to force another tiebreaker, only for Kvitova's class to prevail once again when it mattered most.

Underlining her superiority over her compatriots, Kvitova's win was her 15th straight against Czech opponents.

Kvitova said her hard-earned win three days out from the start of the Australian Open was most satisfying.

"It's always tough to play a final," she said.

"I'm glad I stand here as the winner of this tournament. It's always going to stay as a great memory in my mind."

Pliskova was satisfied with her week's work and now looks ahead to Melbourne where she has drawn a qualifier in the opening round of the Australian Open.

"She was really better today and deserved to win. It was a good match for me. She is four in the world, so I'm not really sad," Pliskova said.

"Definitely it's better to go there (Melbourne) with some matches like what I won here, and good matches.

"I beat one top 10, one top 20, so that's definitely better."

Topics : Petra Kvitova Karolina Pliskova Tennis
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