In a battle of Wimbledon champions, Petra Kvitova ended Elena Rybakina‘s career-best 13-match winning streak and prevented the Kazakhstani from completing the Sunshine Double by defeating her in the Miami Open final 7-6(14) 6-2.
The first set went with serve until 4-4, when Kvitova finally punished Rybakina’s occasional passiveness. The tenth-seeded Rybakina stepped up right away, converted the first break point she earned in this final and followed it up with a love hold to lead 6-5. The set progressed into a tiebreak which developed a nail-biter. Kvitova saved five set points and finally converted her fifth set point to win the opening set 7-6(14) and end Rybakina’s perfect 7-0 record in tiebreak sets this season.
The 15th-seeded Kvitova continued the momentum in the second set and opened it with a 3-0 lead. That one early break of serve turned out to be crucial, as Rybakina never managed to recover and the thriller was over in one hours and 42 minutes.
Making 13th appearance at the Miami Open and 99th appearance at a WTA 1000 tournament, Kvitova defeated Linda Noskova, Donna Vekic, Varvara Gracheva (a Russian player soon to represent France), Ekaterina Alexandrova, Sorana Cirstea, and finally the reigning Wimbledon champion Rybakina.
Rybakina has struck ten or more aces in her past six matches and surpassed Madison Keys’ record for most aces at a WTA 1000 tournament. Keys’ record was 59, Rybakina now boasts 69.
The world No.12 Kvitova today won her 30th career title, ensuring her return to the Top 10 WTA rankings.
Kvitova’s winning apparel: a burgundy strappy tank and pleated black skirt by Nike. Her tennis shoes are the Nike Vapor Pro 2.