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Sports

AFP
February 15, 2018

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Kvitova loses just four points in set in Qatar opener

Kvitova loses just four points in set in Qatar opener

DOHA: Double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova breezed through her Qatar Open first-round match against Cagla Buyukakcay on Tuesday, losing just four points out of a total 28 played in the first set.

Kvitova — currently ranked 21 in women’s tennis as she continues her return to top-class tennis following a horrific knife attack just over a year ago — won 6-0, 6-3.The first set took just 19 minutes to complete, the whole match less than an a hour.

The 27-year-old Czech player said the easy victory may have been down to her late arrival in Doha.“You know, I just came yesterday, and I didn’t really think too much about the tennis,” she told reporters.

“So probably that looked like I played very free, even with sun and wind. And I didn’t really know where I am.”Kvitova, who was left with tendon and nerve injuries to her left hand following the attack, said she was happy with her recovery.

“I think I’m still progressing and improving my game,” she added.“My hand has allowed me to improve what I can. And obviously it’s a lot of hard work off the court and on the court as well.“So I’m pretty happy with everything which I’ve been through.”

She plays Pole Agnieszka Radwanska in round two, in a high-quality field.Nine of the world’s top ten players are in Qatar, with many just outside the highest rankings also competing.Among those is world number 11, Britain’s Johanna Konta, who beat American Bernarda Pera 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 on Tuesday, getting instant revenge on the woman who surprisingly knocked her out of last month’s Australian Open.

“I definitely was excited to play her again,” said Konta.“I mean I knew it was going to be a challenge, and I’m a big believer in personal growth and improvement, self-improvement.“So I definitely took it as an opportunity to really do that.”

Also through was number four seed Garbine Muguruza who won 6-3, 6-4 against China’s Duan Yingying.There were also victories for world number 10 Julia Goerges from Germany who beat Lucie Safarova 6-1, 7-5, a former Qatar champion.And France’s Caroline Garcia beat Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-0.

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