(February 23, 2013) Petra Kvitova claimed the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title on Saturday when she held off Sara Errani to win 6-2, 1-6, 6-1.
“It was great final, and I think that Sara played so well,” said the 2013 champion. “It was really tough to beat her. She came back in the second set. She played really well. She was going for the net a lot, and that was a little bit problem for me.
“It was very important to stay positive in the third and still fight about every point. I know that I have to fight like every ball, because she was really on fire in the second and she continued in the third. I was just thinking that I can’t give up and just fought for every point.”
“I knew I had to keep fighting for every ball, because she was really on fire in the second set and continued that in the third too,” Kvitova added. “I was just thinking to not give up and just fight for every point. When it was 2-1 and she missed a volley, and I think that was a turning point for me. I just tried to stay positive and just play.”
Sixth-seeded Kvitova, who failed to win a match in her previous two visits to Dubai, began in blistering form, dropping only three points in the first three games. The Czech then led 4-0 before Errani began to make an impact, finally holding serve on her fourth game point.
Kvitova then began to make more errors, and two double-faults and finally a netted forehand allowed fifth-seeded Errani to break serve and pull back to 2-4. Kvitova though responded by breaking Errani’s serve for the third time to lead 5-2 and then served out the set.
Kvitova seemed set for a quick victory when she went on to break serve to lead 1-0 in the second set, but Errani’s determination to fight for every point and Kvitova’s increasingly erratic play allowed the feisty Italian to win the next six games and the set.
Errani also held the advantage as the deciding set got underway, holding a break point to lead 1-0 and another three to lead 2-1.
But Kvitova fought off the challenge, holding serve before breaking to lead 3-1 with a stinging service return. She closed out the match by winning her next two service games at love while also breaking serve for a 5-1 lead.
It was Kvitova’s first title since she won New Haven in August 2012, while Errani finished as runner-up for the second time this month after also reaching the Paris Indoor final. It was the Czech’s 10 career WTA crown.
Errani admitted she was overwhelmed at the start but then she had had an excellent chance of victory.
“Very tough,” said Errani of the beginning of the match. “She was hitting so strong, making winners everywhere. I had to change something to try to win the match, and I did on the second set, tried to go more on the net, be more aggressive.
“I think I had my chances on the third set, love‑40 (for a 2-1 lead) or many games with a chance to win the game, and I lost them. Well done for her side, bad luck for my side. I try everything to win but couldn’t be.”
The doubles title went to Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza, who defeated Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik 6-4 2-6 10-7.
The winning pair have played 20 events together and they have now won all four finals they have contested, including Brisbane last month. It was the 12th title for Mattek-Sands and the 16th for Mirza, who finished as doubles runner-up last year with Elena Vesnina.
Srebotnik has now finished as runner-up three times in the past four years, and it was the second runner-up finish for Petrova after she reached the 2006 final with Svetlana Kuznetsova.
DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
February 18-23, 2013
Results – Saturday, February 23, 2013
Singles – Final
(6) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. (5) Sara Errani (ITA) 62 16 61
Doubles – Final
Mattek-Sands/Mirza (USA/IND) d. (2) Petrova/Srebotnik (RUS/SLO) 64 26 107 (Match TB)