Petra Kvitova came to Dubai without her coach David Kotyza. But that was never an impediment for the World No.8 as she became the first player from the Czech Republic to win the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open with a roller-coaster 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 win over Italian Sara Errani at the Dubai Tennis Stadium late on Saturday.
Playing in her first final of the season, the sixth-seeded Kvitova took an hour and 40 minutes to win against the dainty Italian, who was making her first ever final appearance here after three visits to Dubai.
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, Wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was accompanied by Shaikh Hasher Al Maktoum, Director, Dubai Department of Information, Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman, Dubai Duty Free, Tournament Director Salah Tahlak and Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Vice-President, Tennis Emirates, in handing over the trophies after the final.
Kvitova was quick off the blocks as she got breaks in the first and third games to establish a comfortable 4-0 cushion. But her Italian opponent churned out a break in the sixth game only to see Kvitova break for a third time and then serve out for the first set at 6-2 in 36 minutes.
The second set was a complete contrast to the first as the lanky Czech suddenly became error-prone, committing a total of eight double faults compared to just one from her opponent as Errani powered her way to draw level.
The World No.8 Czech, playing her third tournament in Dubai, had things under control in the decider as she broke Errani in the fourth game and held for a 4-1 lead.
From then on, there was no looking back as a second break in the sixth game saw the Czech serving for the set and match at 6-1 with an ace in an hour and 40 minutes.
“My coach is on vacation and I did not want to disturb him. I am sure he is going to be happy with this title,” Kvitova said after winning her tenth career title in the singles.
“It was a very tough match and it was up and down all the time. I guess I got lucky in the end,” she said.
The Czech, who had never been past the first round in Dubai in her two previous appearances, was wary of her Italian opponent throughout the gripping contest. “She’s [Errani] a very good mover on court and in the second set she changed her tactics a bit,” she added.
“The idea was to stay calm and cool. And perhaps, sometimes it is good to be alone on court without the coach,” Kvitova added.
Beaten by a better player, Errani was happy with her form this week. “I am disappointed for sure, but I am happy that I made it to the final. It has been an unbelievable week and I thank everyone for their support,” Errani said.
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