Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Elina Svitolina, Caroline Garcia suffer upsets at Birmingham Classic

Kvitova strolls into Birmingham semis Nature Valley Classic: Petra Kvitova beats Julia Goerges to reach semi-finals
Tamara Craig | 26 June, 2018, 21:02

Petra Kvitova continued her Nature Valley Classic defence with a dominant quarter-final win over Julia Goerges in Birmingham.

Kvitova needed just 70 minutes to claim a 6-3 6-2 victory, appearing in ominous fashion as she gears up for a tilt at a third Wimbledon title.

The Czech's numbers speak for themselves - after extending her Birmingham win streak to nine matches in a row, she's through to her fifth final of the season. "The nerves are always there, so I just tried to play well and win".

The top-seeded Spaniard struggled in windy conditions against the tenacious Czech, who has won their last three encounters on grass.

Rybarikova and Kvitova are good friends off the court and Rybarikova said that while she was looking forward to being on court with Kvitova, she was well aware of the challenge facing her. "Petra is really one of my best friends also on tour. I needed a little bit of time to get used to spins and slices and volleys and whatever she plays", she added. Until I met her in Prague final, I didn't really know much about her.

Stephen Curry hilariously chimes in on James Harden winning NBA MVP
Harden was the NBA's leading scorer, averaging 30.4 points, and ranked third in assists with 8.8 per night. Moses Malone won it twice as a Rocket in 1979 and 1982, and Hakeem Olajuwon took victory in 1994.

A double fault from Rybarikova led to another break and her continual errors ensured the match was swiftly levelled.

"Everyone else said, no chance, don't play, give up. I'm thinking positive. It's the final, so I like playing final". But on the other hand, I felt good on the court from the first rounds. Hopefully, she is not going to be on fire, but if she is, then for me it's a great tournament. During practice we played here today.

Rybarikova has impressed with her agility, variety and touch on the grass, and despite an early exit at Nottingham, she has certainly found her feet here. I didn't really start well in Australia. I remember our last meeting was in New Haven in a final as well.

"When she's on fire, you can go shake her hand and say, 'Okay, I just want to leave from here.' She plays absolutely unbelievable".

She will need to do that in Sunday's final against Magdalena Rybarikova.

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