Petra Kvitova wins Birmingham Classic for second straight year

Kvitova strolls into Birmingham semis

Magdalena Rybarikova, the grass-court expert whose career was in danger of ending after wrist and knee surgeries, overcame Barbora Strycova 7-6 (1), 6-4 Saturday to reach the final of the Birmingham Classic for a second time.

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. "I just played match by match, being very happy to be on the grass and the tennis court".

"Amazing statistics this week!", said a glowing Kvitova.

"It took me a while from the beginning of the match to get used to a lefty serve and forehand and backhand", Kvitova said. For me, Petra is one of the best players when she is playing really on fire, so we will see how it's going to be her day tomorrow.

"I knew it was going to be a tough match", said the 29-year-old.

"I didn't really expect to win here". "We're good friends, so it'll be a fun final".

Maria Sharapova is the last woman to successfully defend the title in Birmingham, having won in 2004 and 2005. Last year, Kvitova lost in the second round to America's Madison Brengle at Wimbledon, so she has plenty of points to gain at that event and with her track record at the Major suggests she is one of the contenders to lift the title for a 3rd time. We played some doubles, so it was always being fun. "She's an unbelievable player, so young and so many achievements until now and so many to come. It's a little bit of a different mindset with a Grand Slam, and I will try to set up my mind for this tournament". She will likely spend much of the match defending, though she is more than capable of getting on the front foot 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 awesome". During practice we played here today.

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