Two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova put on a vintage display of aggression to outlast fellow former World No.2 and 2016 champion Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-1, 7-6(3) at the Connecticut Open.
Kvitova has lifted the trophy three times in New Haven, and kicked off her quest for a fourth title in emphatic fashion on Monday night, surviving her longtime rival in one hour in 28 minutes on Stadium Court.
The two were facing off for the 13th time; Radwanska dropped just two games back in 2016, when Radwanska went on to win the title in New Haven.
While Radwanska has struggled with health and consistency throughout this season, Kvitova is in the midst of a career renaissance, returning to the world’s Top 5 on Monday after winning five titles on all surfaces. That form was on display from first ball as Kvitova struck a stunning 16 winners to capture the opening set, and withstood a tough test from the Pole in the second set.
Rallying from 3-1 down in the second set, the Czech powerhouse forced a tie-break and edged through the sudden death to book a second round clash with Kazakh qualifier Zarina Diyas.
WTATennis.com / photo: Maddie Meyer, Getty Images North America