Petra books Stuttgart final

After reaching the Stuttgart semifinal four times, No.3 seed Petra Kvitova is through to her first final at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, battling past clay court powerhouse Kiki Bertens in three tough sets.

Up against Bertens, Kvitova was contesting a rematch of the pair’s Madrid Open final – a tight, three-set battle which unfolded very similarly to today’s Stuttgart clash. There was not much between them in the closely-contested first set, which ended in a tiebreak.

Kvitova got off to a strong start, breaking early to open with a 2-0 lead.

But Bertens quickly broke straight back a game later to pull them level and consolidating for 2-2. The Czech player had a few more chances to break again more in the first set – had a point at 4-3 and a set point at 5-4 – but Bertens held firm both times and sent them into a tiebreaker.

They were neck and neck for most of the deciding tilt, but Kvitova’s level seemed to rise the longer it unfolded, reeling off the last 3 points in a row to take the set.

In the second set it was Bertens who got off to a quick 2-0 lead, shaking off the disappointment of seeing the first set slip through her fingers. She maintained her lead after the pair traded breaks, with Kvitova striking at 2-1, but Bertens broke straight back to make it 3-1 and eventually take the set.

With the players level at one set apiece, Kvitova raised her level and put on a clay court masterclass in the final set. She reeled off five games in a row, notching back-to-back breaks, and striking winners from all over the court to seal the match in emphatic fashion, claiming the victory after just over two hours.

Up next, Kvitova will take on No.8 seed Anett Kontaveit in the final. / photos: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography