No.8 seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic kicked off her campaign to win the Rogers Cup for a second time with a straight-set victory over dangerous floater Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, 6-3, 6-4, in the second round in Montreal on Tuesday.
2012 Rogers Cup titlist Kvitova had won her first two encounters with Kontaveit before the Estonian got the better of Kvitova in the third round at Roland Garros this spring, in two tiebreak sets. Kvitova avenged that defeat in 88 minutes, and moved into the third round, following her first-round bye.
The two-time Wimbledon champion’s left-handed power game was on song during the match, with her 21 winners outpacing her 19 unforced errors. Kontaveit, who beat Ekaterina Makarova in the opening round, had 14 winners, but 21 unforced errors, and only converted one of her six break points.
Kvitova faced break point in the very first game of the match, but, as is her custom when she is playing well, came up with a huge serve/forehand winner combination to erase Kontaveit’s chance, and eventually held for 1-0. The Czech kicked on from there, breaking for 3-1 when a huge service return on break point set up another forehand winner.
Kontaveit quickly struck back, getting back on serve in the next game with a forehand winner of her own. But Kvitova broke Kontaveit once more, taking the 4-2 lead after a deep backhand service return forced Kontaveit into a netted error.
Kvitova was untroubled from that point forward in the opening frame, holding twice at love to take the one-set lead. The high-risk, high-power game of Kvitova was in full flight in that set, with 12 winners to only eight unforced errors.
The second set opened with a marathon game, as both players were firing on all cylinders as they tried to get the upper hand. Kvitova crunched some exceptional service returns to claim four break points, but Kontaveit moved the Czech around and staved them off. But Kontaveit netted a forehand to give Kvitova a fifth chance, which she took after a long backhand by the Estonian.
That turned out to be the only break Kvitova needed, as she was impenetrable on serve for most of the remainder of the match. Kontaveit often matched the former World No.2 in baseline rallies, but was unable to claw her way back into the encounter.
Kontaveit’s last chance was when Kvitova struggled while serving for the match at 5-4. A great return off of a big serve set Kontaveit up for a forehand winner, giving her double break point. But the Czech used a backhand winner and an effective serve to get back to deuce, and would go on to close out the win on her second match point.