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By Erik Gudris | Tuesday, January 21, 2020

 
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Last year’s finalist Petra Kvitova endured windy conditions and a difficult opponent to reach the Australian Open third round.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve 

Petra Kvitova is known for her three set matches.

So much so, that she has the unofficial nickname “P3tra”. But last year’s Australian Open finalist managed to get into the third round with a straight sets win over a difficult opponent in equally difficult weather conditions.

The seventh-seeded Kvitova booked her third round spot with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Spain’s Paula Badosa.




“She played a great match and it was hard for me to get through,” Kvitova said afterward. “Little bit of nerves on both sides but she was serving really well. The wind was not very nice to us. So it was bit difficult, but definitely she (will) become a very good player.”

Kvitova entered Rod Laver Arena the clear favorite over the current World No. 97 Badosa. But the young Spaniard tested Kvitova throughout the match right up until the last games.

Badosa jumped out to an early 4-2 lead in the first set before Kvitova managed to battle back. Kvitova eventually leveled, then went out to take the set 7-5 after Badosa botched a backhand down set point.

The second set wasn’t easier for Kvitova though. Both players stayed in touch with each other as they battled the windy conditions. Badosa edged ahead 5-4 and forced Kvitova to serve to stay in the set.

Kvitova fell behind early in the next game and soon found herself facing 0-40 and three set points. Badosa missed out on her first set point, but then ripped what she thought was a winning backhand passing shot on her second set point. However, replay showed the ball just wide.

From there, Kvitova saved the third set point and leveled at 5-all.

Tennis Express

Kvitova’s experience shown through as she went on to win eight out of the last nine points before wrapping up the 7-5, 7-5 victory.

Later, Kvitova commented on playing doubles with Rafael Nadal during the exhibition for bushfire relief held last week.



Kvitova will next face No. 25 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in the third round.

 

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