Following their earlier encounter at the Apia Sydney International, World No. 6 Petra Kvitova and fellow Czech athlete Lucie Safarova will cross paths once again, this time at the Qatar Total Open. This marks the third time these two athletes will meet on the WTA tour, with Kvitova leading the head-to-head series 2-0.
Kvitova had a tough second round match against Venus Williams, who pushed the Top 10 competitors to three sets, where Venus was up 5-1 before Kvitova mounted an amazing comeback to lead 6-5 force sending the match to a deciding tiebreak. In what turned out to be a thrilling affair, Kvitova would win the match after defending match point down at 7-6 to close out the two-hour, 32-minute encounter, 62 26 76(7).
“She played all out today, and I don’t really remember what happened, but I’m happy I was able to come back in the third set,” Kvitova said after the match. “I was fighting for every ball and felt really confident on the court, so it was a great feeling for me. In the end, it was just an incredible tie-break.
“Even when she’s injured or if she’s not playing and then coming back, she’s always playing great.”
Safarova opened up her campaign in Doha with a three set victory over Kirsten Flipkens and followed up with another three set win over Peng Shuai to reach the third round. The world No. 28 reached the quarter-finals in Sydney and the third round of the Australian Open before defeating Silvia Soler-Espinosa in the Fed Cup tie against Spain. She will look to maintain her winning streak when she faces fellow Czech athlete Petra Kvitova.
In their past two encounters on the WTA tour, Safarova has not managed to win a single set. While that may be the case, she certainly came close in their encounter last month as she reached a first set tiebreak with the world No. 6. Kvitova is yet to regain top form following her extended break early in the season, she has proven to be a significant task even when she is not at her best and will likely show that once again tomorrow afternoon.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova in Straight Sets