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Kvitova Edges Errani; Claims Dubai WTA Title

Petra Kvitova endured a second set challenge from Sara Errani before pulling away to claim her first title of 2013 in Dubai.

By Erik Gudris

Petra Kvitova(February 23rd, 2013) -- Though fans were once again treated to a roller coaster-like thrill ride from the queen of hit or miss tennis, Petra Kvitova found the winning touch to claim her first title of the year at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Taking on Italy's Sara Errani in the finals, the match was expected to be solely on Kvitova's racquet and it was for at least the first set. Though both women had trouble holding serve, it was Kvitova who broke the Italian three times to secure a 6-2 set.

But as expected, Kvitova's level dropped in the second set and that gave Errani her opening. Holding serve remained a tough proposition for each, but with Kvitova only winning 30% of her first serves, it allowed Errani to gain the momentum as she began to find more success up at net than when trying to rally with Kvitova from the baseline.

Errani's change in tactics disrupted Kvitova and forced the Czech to hit more errors. Errani stormed ahead and claimed the second set 6-1.

Kvitova recovered though and passed her biggest test early in the final set. Falling down 0-40 at 1-all, Kvitova battled back to hold serve. That set up her to take the lead for good when she hit a passing shot winner in the next game to break Errani for 3-1.

From then on, Kvitova never looked back as she hit a down the line forehand winner late in the set to jump out to a 5-1 lead. Serving for the match, Kvitova bombed down a 110mph serve that Errani couldn't handle to close out the 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 win.

Kvitova's stats once again tell most of the story as she racked up 46 winners and 36 unforced errors compared to Errani's 10 winners and 11 unforced errors. Errani was also only 4 of 10 on break point chances.

The victory gives Kvitova her first title of the year and the 10th of her career. The win will push her up to No.7 in the WTA rankings on Monday. After a shaky start to 2013, Kvitova can only see positives from her week in Dubai.

"I'm glad how I'm playing right now…that's the important thing for me," Kvitova told "I'm not thinking this is a turning point or a turning tournament for me. Yes, it was a lot of great players here and it was hard to beat them, but I'm still just thinking about my game. That's the priority."

(Photo Credit: AP)


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