2018 Qatar Total Open Champion. Petra Kvitova

Announcer Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018 Champion Petra Kvitova

Announcer. Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018 / Photo: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
Petra Kvitova wins the Doha Title 36 63 64

Make it 13 consecutive victories for Qatar Total Open 2018 Champion Petra Kvitova. For the third time this week, she came back from a set down to defeat Garbine Muguruza and claim Doha’s Falcon.

Since falling to Andrea Petkovic in the opening round of the Australian Open, the inspiring Czech has been unbeatable. Two weeks ago, she captured her 21st career title in St. Petersburg. Last weekend in Prague, she won both of her Fed Cup rubbers over Switzerland’s Victorija Golubic and Belinda Bencic, lifting the Czech Republic into the World Group Semifinals for the 10th consecutive year. This week, Petra won six additional matches, eliminating four top-10 players and Agnieska Radwanska to win her first Doha title. Remarkable.

Tomorrow morning, for the first time since Wimbledon nearly 2-years-ago, Kvitova will return to the WTA’s top-10.

It is baffling to think that just 14 months ago, Petra suffered tendon and nerve damage to all five fingers on her racquet hand, while fending off a home-intruder armed with a knife. Amazingly, five months after surgery, she returned to the tour at Roland Garros; and two weeks later in Birmingham, won her 20th career title in just the second event of her comeback.

The Qatar Total Open 2018 Trophy Presentation

Announcer Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018 Trophy Ceremony. Champion Petra Kvitova

Champion: Petra Kvitova

Announcer Andy Taylor. Qatar Total Open 2018 Trophy Ceremony. Finalist Garbine Muguruza

Finalist: Garbine Muguruza

Another comeback from a set down (Set-1)

18-minutes into Sunday night’s championship match, Petra Kvitova was down 0-5.

Garbine Muguruza was in complete control, well-rested thanks to Simona Halep’s withdrawal from the tournament after the World #2’s Quarterfinal victory over American Cici Bellis. Not to mention, as one of the top-8 seeds, the World #4 enjoyed a 1st-Round Bye. Garbine reached the Final with only three match victories (seven sets of tennis) over Ying-Ying Duan, Sorana Cirstea and Caroline Garcia.

Petra’s path was far more demanding. She battled through 12-sets in five matches, and had to get past 5-time Doha Semifinalist Agnieszka Radwanska before overcoming three top-10 opponents. Last night, while Muguruza was resting comfortably at the Four Seasons, Petra fought a punishing clash with the World #1 Caroline Wozniacki, capturing set-2 in a nail-biting tiebreak, before winning the Semifinal in the decider.

In set-1 of the championship match, Petra finally held to reach 1-5, then converted her first break opportunity to keep the set alive. Though Kvitova held again to close the gap, Muguruza channeled the confident fire of Coach Conchita Martinez and closed out the set with a deep backhand that skipped off the baseline.

Garbine can’t cut a break (Set-2)

Up a set, Garbine continued to give herself opportunities. She had at least four chances to break Petra in the second, but Kvitova’s defense and determination was on-point. Immediately following the second changeover, Petra piled-up four break chances of her own in a single game, and converted the fourth to gain the edge. Three games later, Petra leveled the match on her second set-point.

Petra’s endurance earns the victory (Set-3)

In the deciding set, both held through 2-all. As they say, the tension was palpable. In game-5, Petra gained her first break chance of the set, finally converting it after a ridiculously long, depleting rally. On the changeover, Garbine took a Medical Time Out to wrap the right thigh that has been giving her off-and-on trouble for the better part of a year. It didn’t help.

Petra was stoic, allowing Garbine only a single break opportunity to the rest of the way, earning the title with a 6-4 victory in the third.

Petra Kvitova is now 4-1 against Muguruza. She won their last four matches, including a 76(3) 63 victory last Summer in the Round of 16 at the US Open. Garbine won their first career meeting in 2015, during the Round Robin stage of the WTA Finals Singapore.

Petra Kvitova’s Remarkable Road to the Title:
Garbine Muguruza’s Fortunate Road to the Final:
Petra Kvitova. 22nd Title. 29th career Final

This 27-year-old, 2-time Grand Slam Champion has reached tonight’s Championship match with three consecutive top-10 victories, including her 5th career win over a World #1 with her Semifinal win over Caroline Wozniacki. 2-weeks ago, she won her 21st career singles title in St. Petersburg – won both of her Fed Cup matches last weekend – and with her run to tonight’s Final, is on an impressive 12-match win-streak. She’s a 2-time Wimbledon Champion, Olympic Bronze Medalist, 5-time Fed Cup Champion, won the year-end WTA Finals in 2011, and has been ranked as high as World #2. Remarkably, in her inspiring return to the sport last year after a career-threatening injury, she won the title in Birmingham in just her second event back on tour. Competing for the title in her 5th Qatar Total Open, from the Czech Republic – Please welcome, Petra Kvitova

Garbine Muguruza. 9th career Final

At 24-years-old, she is also a 2-time Grand Slam Champion. She won her first Major title at the 2016 French Open, defeating World #1 Serena Williams in straight-sets. Then last July, in her third career Grand Slam Final, she defeated Venus Williams to earn the title at Wimbledon. Over the Summer, she won her 5th WTA Singles title in Cincinnati, made her 10th career Grand Slam Round of 16 appearance at the US Open, and became the #1 player in the World for the first time; ending 2017 by reaching the WTA Finals Singapore for the third consecutive year. A member of her country’s Olympic and Fed Cup Teams, she was a Quarterfinalist at the Summer Games in Rio and a doubles finalist at the 2015 WTA Finals. Competing for the Championship in her 4th Qatar Total Open, from Spain – Please welcome the #4 player in the world, Garbine Muguruza