Petra Kvitova eliminated world No.1 Angelique Kerber in the third round of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, after a highly-intense battle that lasted close to three and a half hours, featured 12 breaks of serve and the eventual winner celebrated on her seventh match point.
Throughout the dramatic encounter, no player went ahead more than two games up compared to her opponent and it was a constant see-saw of breaks and rebreaks. The first set alone featured six breaks in the first seven games and the grueling fight ended with the top-seeded Kerber prevailing in the tiebreak.
When Kerber opened the second set by dropping serve, it was obvious that the slugfest would continue, and more or less it did, only that the 14th-seeded Kvitova had the upper hand this time and managed to avoid a tiebreak, taking the second set 7-5.
After the long two sets, we absolutely couldn’t tell who would emerge as the winner, although Kvitova did seem slightly more stable. The Czech opened the second successive set by breaking Kerber’s serve and this time she held on to that lead. At 4-2 Kvitova even had a chance to go 5-2 up, but Kerber fought for her service game and at 4-3 for Kvitova even earned numerous break points of her own.
41 shot rally!! #WuhanOpenTennis pic.twitter.com/T9Kzy9LERc
— WTA (@WTA) September 28, 2016
That long eighth game also featured a sensational point, a 41-shot rally which earned Kerber another break point. But the German converted none of the many opportunities and Kvitova continued to lead, 5-3.
Those wasted opportunities determined Kerber’s fate, although Kvitova needed as many as seven match points to finally beat her and it was very tense until the last moment, as Kvitova seemed too tired and her legs were cramping severely. Final score: 6-7(10) 7-5 6-4.
Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska are playing the last match on Wednesday and it was obviously a long wait. 🙂
Caro and Aga during Kvitova vs Kerber match ? pic.twitter.com/kERpI65nZC
— CaroWozniackiNews (@CWTennis) September 28, 2016
Kvitova’s quarterfinal opponent will be Johanna Konta, who saved six set points and rallied from 3-5 down to beat Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5 7-6(6).
Earlier in the day, ninth Svetlana Kuznetsova eliminated an out-of-sorts defending champion Venus Williams with a straightforward 6-2 6-2 victory in the third round. Fourth seed Simona Halep cruised past Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3 6-3, while eighth seed Madison Keys advanced to the quarterfinals after three sets against Daria Kasatkina, 6-1 4-6 6-4. (photos: Jimmie48)