Day 7. Round of 16. Petra Kvitova

Stadium Announcer Andy Taylor. US Open 2017. Day 7 Petra Kvitova

Tennis Emcee. Andy Taylor. The Voice of the US Open

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Petra Kvitova def Garbine Muguruza 76(3) 63

This was a remarkable win for Petra Kvitova. The World #3, Garbine Muguruza was tearing through the draw. She bageled Varvara Lepchenko in the opening set of the Open, won 9 consecutive games to dispatch Ying-Ying Duan, and gave up only two games versus Magdalena Rybarikova. Through the first three rounds, she’d only been broken twice. All eyes were on the Wimbledon Champion.

Kvitova came in to Sunday Night’s match with rhythm of her own. She earned straight-sets wins over Jelena Jankovic, Alize Cornet and World #18 Caroline Garcia en-route to the Round of 16, and the Olympic Bronze Medalist was up against an opponent she had outlasted twice in the past 14-months.

Petra Kvitova. An inspiring comeback

Without question, Petra is the most inspiring athlete on court at this year’s US Open. Savagely attacked by a knife wielding intruder during the off-season, she shredded tendons on her racquet-hand defending herself. After career-saving surgery and months of rehabilitation, she returned to the game in May at Roland Garros. A week later, she won her 20th WTA Singles Title in Birmingham.

Sunday Night’s first set was a nail-biter. The two traded breaks early. Muguruza erased set-point, down 30-40, serving to stay in the opener. Kvitova broke again to serve for the set, but double faulted at 15-40 to bring on the tiebreak. Muguruza jumped ahead early, but Kvitova won seven out of eight to take the set; a clutch run, considering the double fault that brought on the breaker. Double faults would become a running theme…

Up 5-2 in the second, Kvitova missed two match points. Muguruza held to keep the match alive. Up 30-15, serving for the win, Petra missed four consecutive serves (two straight double faults!), and opened the door for the reigning Wimbledon Champ; but Petra righted the ship, fought off two more set-points at deuce, then delivered the win in an hour and 46 minutes.

The most significant win of Petra’s return

A tough loss for the World #3. The most significant win of Petra Kvitova’s comeback. She’ll have to battle again Tuesday in the Quarters, facing 2-time US Open Champion Venus Williams. It will be their 6th career meeting. Kvitova has won all of their previous matches, with the exception of a 2nd-Rounder in Miami five years ago. The question: Through four matches in seven days, how is that left hand really holding up?