Defending Champion Petra Kvitova Continues Domination to Reach Birmingham Semis
(June 22, 2018) Fourth seed and defending champion Petra Kvitova dominated Julia Goerges 6-1, 6-4 to reach the final four of the Nature Valley Classic at the Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham. The Czech has yet to drop a set set in her run to defend the title. She’s looking to be the second woman to repeat in Birmingham.
She’ll be taking on Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu in Saturday’s semifinals. The Romanian knocked out second seed Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2 as she did during the fourth round of French Open.
“I think she’s pretty confident right now,” said Kvitova of Buzarnescu. “She’s in good form as we see. Until I met her in Prague final, I didn’t really know much about her. Obviously I heard the name, saw the name doing well in the draw, but I never really pay attention until that time when we play three-setter. It was a really big fight. She’s a lefty. Probably she like the grass as well using a lefty serve. I mean, she’s playing with the confidence with nothing to lose. Like for me she seems to be really relaxed every time she’s on the court, off the court. That’s probably her biggest weapon now.
Kvitova said of her own win today: “I think the score looks a little bit different compared to game. I think I find kind of my game after the second half of the first set actually. I think in the beginning of the match, we were both, like, kind of finding the rhythm and finding the serve and finding the shots as well, especially on my serve. I mean, I think sometimes I’ve been pretty lucky that she missed the return. I didn’t put the first serve in which was kind of tough to play then. I felt like Julia had kind of troubles with the second serve as well in the beginning of the match. When I broke her serve, it was a little bit kind of better for me, but was still trying to find good rhythm on the serve which I find afterwards. Especially on the second set playing with the break in the second from the beginning was a little bit relaxed for sure. But on the other hand, I know how she’s playing even if she’s down. She really went for the shots and for the returns as well. I’m pretty happy with the game how I played like the first two points in the rallies.”
Magdalena Rybarikova and Barbora Strycova face-off against each other in Saturday’s other semifinal after former Birmingham champion Rybarikova stopped qualifier Dalilia Jakupovic 6-2, 6-4 and Strycova’s opponent Lesia Tsurenko was forced to retire with left hip pain.
Strycova said that she and Rybarikova have been enjoying watching the World Cup together this week. “We know each other so many years already. She’s just so normal,” said Strycova. “We go out. We talk about other stuff than tennis. We really get along very well. We have a lot of fun together. We watch every night football here. Going to be today as well. I don’t like football much, but when it’s World Cup, I am expert!”
“We play such a good match in Linz,” Strycova added. “We always play against each other big matches and it’s a lot of fight because we have similar game. We also very good friend, so we know our game. I know her game very well and she knows mine. It’s going to be very tough one. I like to play on grass and she does, too, and she showed that last year in Wimbledon. But there will be a lot of chip-and-charge, a lot of serve-and-volley, a lot of different game than you see in women tennis right now. So I really look forward to play to tomorrow, yeah. I have to try a lot of volleys tomorrow in the warmup.”
NATURE VALLEY CLASSIC – BIRMINGHAM – BIRMINGHAM, UK
JUNE 18 – 24, 2018
RESULTS – JUNE 22, 2018
Singles – Quarterfinals
M. Buzarnescu (ROU) d  [WC] E. Svitolina (UKR) 63 62
 P. Kvitova (CZE) d  J. Goerges (GER) 61 64
B. Strycova (CZE) d L. Tsurenko (UKR) 75 30 Retired
M. Rybarikova (SVK) d [Q] D. Jakupovic (SLO) 62 64
Doubles – Quarterfinals
E. Mertens (BEL) / D. Schuurs (NED) d H. Chan (TPE) / Z. Yang (CHN) 63 76(3)
ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2018
ANN JONES CENTRE COURT start 11:30 am
B. Strycova (CZE) vs M. Rybarikova (SVK)
 P. Kvitova (CZE) vs M. Buzarnescu (ROU)
 T. Babos (HUN) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs  B. Krejcikova (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE)
E. Mertens (BEL) / D. Schuurs (NED) vs N. Melichar (USA) / K. Peschke (CZE)