Petra Kvitova went down a break in both sets but immediately got each back to secure a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Angelique Kerber into the third round of the Madrid Masters on Saturday.
The battle of former Grand Slam champions – the pair own a combined five trophies – lasted for less than 90 minutes, with Kvitov moving ahead in her quest for a fourth Madrid title.
The Czech with a pair of Wimbledon crowns, has triumphed on the clay of the Spanish capital in 2011, 2015 and 2018.
“I don’t think that I really played like bad games when she broke my serve,” Kvitova said. “It was important to stay calm, which I did very well.
“Through the whole match. I just took her (serve) straightaway back.
“This definitely brings back my confidence.”
Kvitova and Kerber have met on 14 occasions, with the Czech now leading 8-6.
“The intensity and the tennis itself was on the high level,” the winner said. “We really played very well.
“It was tough to attack her serve. I was pleased that I stayed calm during the
whole match. I was just there, doesn’t matter what the score.”
Kvitova managed 33 winners, more than twice the 16 of Kerber.
The Czech will face a surprise opponent in the third round after Russian Veronika Kudermetova upset 2019 defending champion Kiki Bertens 6-4, 6-3.
Another Grand Slam winner, American Sloane Stephens (2017 US Open) was beaten by rising Tunisian Ons Jabeur in a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 comeback.
Elsewhere, Ons Jabeur earned a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over another Grand Slam champion, 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens, to follow Kvitova through to the third round and continue her in-form spring on clay.
“I had a little bit of trouble adjusting at the beginning but I’m glad I played well,” Jabeur said. “The second set was amazing, and the third set was a very difficult set.
“It’s great to be here. I’ve played a lot of matches lately and I’m glad I’m keeping the rhythm. I love the clay and I’m trying to enjoy every match here.”
Main photo:- Petra Kvitova after beating Angelique Kerber in Madrid by – WTATennis.com