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Kvitova boosts Wimbledon bid with Berlin triumph

BERLIN (AFP) – Petra Kvitova boosted her status as a leading favourite for a third Wimbledon title by sweeping past Donna Vekic in the final of the Berlin WTA grass-court tournament on Sunday.

The Czech seventh seed won 6-2, 7-6 (8/6) to clinch her second title of the year and 31st of her career.

Sunday’s victory gave her a sixth grass-court trophy for a 31st title, giving her more than any other active player besides Venus Williams’ 49.

Kvitova, 33, who was Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, burst out of the blocks, breaking her opponent twice in the first set.

The pair traded breaks in the second before Kvitova triumphed in a tiebreak.

The world number nine did not drop a set on the way to lifting the title at Steffi Graf Stadium in the German capital.

Moments after the countdown to lift the trophy, Kvitova told the crowd: “I’m in shock right now.

“I wasn’t sure I could count in German, but I did it in the end so I’m happy.”

Vekic praised her opponent, saying: “Your career is something we can only hope for.

“I’ve lost to you a few times and every time I lose to you I feel like you win the tournament.”

Kvitova has now won 12 of her last 13 matches on grass dating back to her title run in Eastbourne last season. She has lost just four sets over that span.

The unseeded Vekic, 26, impressed this week, defeating reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina on her way to her first grass-court final since 2019.

PHOTO: AFP
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