Petra Kvitova vs Magdalena Rybarikova: Birmingham Open final preview and prediction

Petra Kvitova became the first player in 13 years to successfully defend the Nature Valley Classic title in Birmingham with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, win over Magdalena Rybarikova in a compelling final on Sunday at the Edgbaston Priory Club. She opened her tournament with an impressive 6-2 6-3 win over the third seed Karolina Pliskova, before dropping her only set of the tournament in a 3-6 6-2 6-1 comeback win over Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic.

Kvitova's victory was her 36th of the season, more than any other player on the WTA Tour, while Sunday's final will be her fifth of the season.

After two wins on grass Ukrainian tennis player suffered defeat.

"Amazing statistics this week", Kvitova said.

Kvitova, who started the calendar year as the world number #29 due to a hand injury, has had a good 2018, returning to the top ten on the back of consistently solid results. But I'm fit and that's what is really making me happy, that I can nearly play every week and enjoy it because I had so many years that I didn't play.

"[Magdalena and I] have been practicing here this week, we always practice when we're in tournaments together", Kvitova said.

"We're good friends [Magdalena and I], so it'll be a fun final".

The last time met at a tour level was in the New Haven final, where the Czech prevailed.

Rybarikova, who reached the semifinals at Wimbledon a year ago, thrives on grass, with her flat groundstroke game giving her the edge in a closely contested match. I will try my best. I was playing little bit more clay court still. She tends to play with a lot of aggression, using her power to create plenty of winners. During practice we played here today.

"When she's on fire, you can go shake her hand and say, 'Okay, I just want to leave from here.' She plays absolutely wonderful. She's a really great player and she's the favorite of this match".

In Mallorca, Garcia went down 6-3, 6-3 to Sofia Kenin, with Lucie Safarova, another seed, also knocked out by Tatjana Maria.

  • Stacy Allen