In a tournament hampered by rain and withdrawals, the Monday night finals between Petra Kvitova and Li Na provided a spectacular finish to the week in Montreal. Both in search of their first title of the year, the duo battled through a tight first set. After an hour of incredible match play and five set points, Kvitova prevailed at 7-5. Her fortunes quickly turned in the second set, however. The former French Open champion Li let everyone know that she wasn’t going down without a fight and won 16 points in a row to race to a 4-0 advantage. The deficit was too steep for her opponent to overcome and in just 32 minutes, the match was level at 7-5, 2-6.
Li could not maintain her momentum through to the third set as Kvitova began playing more aggressively. The tactic paid off for the 2011 Wimbledon champion who has faced a tough season this year. She was able to secure the only break in the set to take the match after 2 hours and 16 minutes of play at 7-5, 2-6, 6-3.
Following the match, Kvitova acknowledged the significance of her first 2012 title and first title on North American soil. Hailing from the Czech Republic the 22-year-old explained “I have asthma so I have trouble breathing sometimes . . . it’s only a problem in North America, unfortunately, because here it’s more humid than Europe or Australia”.
Li’s 2012 finals record now stands at 0-3, but it wasn’t all bad news for the Chinese no. 1. Her run at Montreal ensures that she will again enter the top 10 and the 30-year-old appeared satisfied with her overall play, saying in her post-match interview “I’m very happy because this was the first hardcourt tournament after the Olympics, and my new coach is going to come to Cincinnati, so I think this is a very good start to this season for me.”