WTA Aegon Classic, 🇬🇧 Birmingham Final Preview
🏆 (7/wc) 🇨🇿 Petra Kvitova vs 🇦🇺 Ashleigh Barty
Just 6 months after a horrific incident, Petra Kvitova is into the final in her second tournament back to the tour. Kvitova comes up against an ever-improving Ashleigh Barty in Sunday’s final at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham. Both Kvitova and Barty are both at their best on a grass court, both bring good form into this final, winning the title would mean so much to both players for different reasons here, a hotly contested final is to be expected. It would be a big win a very emotional victory for Kvitova this early in her comeback whilst Barty is playing in the biggest final of her career and has a chance to reach the top 50 in rankings for the first time with a victory here.
Petra Kvitova has advanced to the final in Birmingham without dropping a set. Kvitova cruised through her opening two matches in Birmingham. Defeating Tereza Smitkova and Naomi Broady in straight sets before producing her best result of the tournament as she beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-4 7-6. Kvitova secured her spot in Sunday’s final courtesy of Safarova withdrawing early in the second set of their semi-final. Kvitova is playing at an impressively high level this week given how early she is into her comeback, Petra’s serve is looking as potent as ever and she remains extremely dangerous from the baseline and capable of coming forward.
Ashleigh Barty is into the biggest final of her career. It has been a tough route to the final for the Aussie. Barty started the event with a tough straight set win over Markéta Vondroušová before eliminating the eighth seeded Barbora Strycova in three sets. Barty advanced to the semi-finals courtesy of Camila Giorgi retiring injured in the first set of their match quarter-final clash. Barty’s most impressive win came at the semi-final stage when she eliminated Garbine Muguruza 3-6 6-4 6-3. The win over Muguruza was one of the biggest of Barty’s career and will give her confidence heading in into the biggest final of her career, Barty will come up against Kvitova with nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
The only previous meeting between Kvitova and Barty took place back in 2012 on the clay at Roland Garros, that match ended with a 6-1 6-2 win for Kvitova. I expect Kvitova will again get the better of Barty in Sunday’s Birmingham final, but this time it should be a much closer match. Both Kvitova and Barty are taking care of their service games nicely this week, in this match-up it will be Barty that is put under more pressure, Kvitova seemingly dose everything a bit better than Barty and is far more experienced in big matches. Kvitova should win this match and complete an emotional return with a title.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Ashleigh Barty in 2 sets