Petra conquers Barty to kick off comeback with Birmingham title


In just her second tournament since injuring her left hand during a home invasion, Petra Kvitova roared back from a set down to defeat Ashleigh Barty, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to win her first title of the year at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

“I’m very, very happy, of course,” she said in her post-match press conference. “I didn’t expect this in my second tournament of my comeback. So yeah, I think it’s kind of a fairytale.”

Attacked in her home during the off-season, Kvitova made a triumphant comeback earlier than expected at Roland Garros, where she won her first match since finishing the 2016 season with the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai title.

“I was nervous It wasn’t the normal nerves as I had before. It’s my first final after such a long time, and it was a bit difficult to handle. I struggled a lot. It’s nice when you win and you’re playing well, but most of the times the best days are when you win even if you are not playing well. So I’m happy that I was able to win it anyway.”

“Maybe it will sound weird, but I think it was nice to lose the first set, that I had to fight for the second and for the third. I think will give me some extra confidence that I am still able to fight, even if I lose the first set. I know I can still win long matches, so I think that’s important, as well.”

“I’ve been through a very difficult time in my life, and it wasn’t about the tennis, but about being able to come back healthy and alive, moving my fingers properly and everything like that. This is something clearly special. It’s some bonus to have my life and my career and everything.

“This is what I fought so hard to come back and play tennis for. I always said that I’m not here just to play tennis; I’m here to play my best and to win trophies, like today. So I have to say I’m kind of proud of myself that I did it today.”