Petra Kvitova came from a set down to beat Garbine Muguruza 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the Qatar Total Open final, winning her second straight WTA title and extending her winning streak to 13 matches.
Just a year ago, it was uncertain whether Kvitova would even play professional tennis again, but since her comeback from a career-threatening injury to her playing hand, the Czech earned a 8-1 record against Top 10 opponents and today’s triumph in Doha is bringing herself back among the Elite 10.
Playing Muguruza who spent much less time on the court this week in Doha, thanks to a first-round bye and Simona Halep’s withdrawal in the semifinals, Kvitova looked very tired early on, piling up unforced errors and missing first serves. The weak start translated into a 0-5 deficit in the first set, but the 27-year-old regrouped, won three games in a row, and even though she lost that set, she set the tone for the rest of the match. Kvitova’s service was constantly under pressure, but Muguruza converted just two out of 11 break point opportunities and the Czech followed up her St. Petersburg title win with a champion’s trophy in Doha.
As WTA Insider pointed out on Twitter, Kvitova’s last loss was a 10-8 in the third set defeat to Andrea Petkovic in the first round of the Australian Open. Since then, the list of her victims names: Elena Vesnina, Irina Camelia-Begu, reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, Julia Goerges, Kristina Mladenovic, Viktorija Golubic, Belinda Bencic, Cagla Buyukakcay, Agnieszka Radwanska, Elina Svitolina, again Julia Goerges, world No.1 and reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, and reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza.
Check back to Women’s Tennis Blog later, as my photographer Jimmie48 will send me all his photos of the Doha final once he makes it to Dubai, where he’ll cover the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.