Petra Kvitova beats Eugenie Bouchard to win Wuhan Open
Petra Kvitova, of the Czech Republic, returns a shot against Aleksandra Krunic, of Serbia, during the third round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. Kvitova won the Wuhan Open on Sept. 27, 2014. (AP / Kathy Willens)
Justin Bergman, The Associated Press
Published Saturday, September 27, 2014 8:11AM EDT
WUHAN, China -- Petra Kvitova backed up her lopsided win over Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon with another emphatic victory over the Canadian to capture the inaugural Wuhan Open title on Saturday.
The third-seeded Czech player saved seven of eight break points she faced in the second set to close out a 6-3, 6-4 win over the sixth-seeded Bouchard in scorching conditions that lived up to Wuhan's reputation as one of China's "oven cities."
It was Kvitova's third title of the year and also secured her spot at the season-ending WTA finals in Singapore, alongside No. 1 Serena Williams, Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova.
She's also now a perfect 3-0 over the 20-year-old Bouchard, including her dominant 6-3, 6-0 win in the Wimbledon final that lasted only 55 minutes. It was the fewest games allowed in a women's Wimbledon final since Steffi Graf beat Monica Seles 6-2, 6-1 in 1992.
"I knew that I have to play a little bit more aggressive than I played the matches before," Kvitova said. "I need to play a similar game as in Wimbledon, very aggressively going for the shots."
Bouchard had hoped to put up more of a fight than she did at Wimbledon. But the Westmount, Quebec native didn't have an answer for Kvitova's lefty serve out wide and couldn't match the Wimbledon champ's powerful groundstrokes, especially early in the match when she fell behind 3-1 in the first set.
Then, at the start of the second, she jammed her finger with her racket on a follow-through and had to take an injury timeout to have it taped while holding a bag of ice to her head to cool off in the 32-degree Celsius (90 F) heat.
"I have hit a million forehands in my life and I still can't hit one without hitting myself," she said. "With tape and adrenaline, (I could) still play as I normally would, but it's pretty painful now. It's surprising how such a small body part can actually be so painful."
Still, after returning to the court, she made Kvitova work hard to close it out. Serving for the match at 5-2, Kvitova wasted a match point and was forced to save five break points before dumping a volley into the net to drop serve. After Bouchard held to make it 5-4, however, Kvitova regained her composure and put the match away.
The 24-year-old Czech player will now look to carry her late-season momentum into the WTA Championships, which she won in her breakout season in 2011 after beating Sharapova to capture her first Wimbledon title.
"I think that I'm feeling well. I'm prepared very well for the matches," she said. "I find my form finally."