Kvitova rallies to reach maiden Qatar final

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova produced another fightback to claim the Qatar Open title as she came from a set down to defeat Garbine Muguruza in an enthralling final.

Kvitova overcame an very bad start which saw her lose the first five games to eventually triumph 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Muguruza looked in total command as she raced into an early 5-0 lead, wrapping up the first set shortly after, but Kvitova proved a much tougher nut to crack from that point on. At 5-4 and 6-5, Wozniacki had a chance to close out the match, but Kvitova held on and won four straight points in the tie-break to send the match into a third set.

Since then she's managed to hang inside the top 30, winning a title in Birmingham along they way and notching wins over the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Alize Cornet, Caroline Garcia and Ash Barty.

"It feels great (to be No. 10)", the 27-year-old said. 'I didn't get many first serves in the first game, and in the second game she played aggressively and I made a few unforced errors.

Her winning streak is now the second longest of her career and she is only two victories short of equalling her record set seven years ago.

That was despite spending nearly twice as long on court in Doha as Muguruza, who received a first-round bye and and benefited from a semi-final walkover after Simona Halep's withdrawal.

Having dragged the second set into a tiebreaker which she edged, the battling Czech quickly switched gears and attacked her opponent relentlessly to prevail in the decider.

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Meanwhile, Germany's Julia Georges was forced to retire through injury when she was 6-4, 2-1 down to Petra Kvitova.

After comfortable service holds for both players to start the match, it was once again Kvitova who found herself in deep trouble.

Two break-back points were staved off and, though Muguruza held to force Kvitova to serve the set out, she promptly did so, the clinching point met with a shriek of approval. She then served out the set in the first opportunity.

Muguruza finished the game with heavy strapping on her left knee but was hopeful there was no serious problem afterwards.

Muguruza, who will climb one place to third in the rankings paid tribute to her opponent.

Kvitova's return to form will put her back in contention for majors this season. However, it was just too late to produce the comeback as Muguruza regrouped well, serving out the set to love on the second occasion.

"I tried to calm myself down a little bit in the second set". I think also because she came out with all those winners.

"That's why I came back, to try to have great results in the Grand Slams and the big tournaments", she said.

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