No.4 seed and defending Nature Valley Classic champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic opened her campaign for back-to-back titles with a comprehensive victory over top-ranked Briton and home favorite Johanna Konta, 6-3, 6-4, in the first round on Tuesday.
“We can expect some tough matches from the first round [in Birmingham], which on the other hand I think is good, because you have to really show a great performance from the beginning,” Kvitova said during her on-court post-match interview. “I think that the match showed that, and I think that we showed good tennis today.”
Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova claimed her third win in four meetings against Konta with a straightforward victory in one hour and 39 minutes. The Czech was determinative off the ground, blasting 26 winners, including five aces, versus 25 unforced errors. Former World No.4 Konta stayed with Kvitova in the scoreline for much of the match, but could only fire seven winners during the tilt.
In the second round, former World No.2 Kvitova will face Australia’s Daria Gavrilova, who ousted Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, 6-3, 7-6(6) in the first round on Monday.
“I’m here just to play, which is the best, really,” said the reigning titleholder. “I don’t feel any pressure. Playing [Konta] in the first round, you probably should feel some pressure, but I’m really here just to play and enjoy myself on the grass.”
WTATennis.com / photo: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images Europe