Despite having had several setbacks, Petra Kvitova, the real champion off the court also will make a strong come back to this year’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship.
Two-time Wimbledon champion and 2013 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title holder Petra Kvitova will head to Dubai in just under two weeks in winning form, after capturing her 21st career title yesterday in St. Petersburg.
The title is her first since Birmingham in June 2017, and with it she moves into fifth place amongst active players in the numbers of titles won. Kvitova registered wins over Elena Vesnina, world number six Jelena Ostapenko and Julia Goerges on the way to the finals, before posting an emphatic win over Kristina Mladenovic, 6-1 6-2.
Last year the former world number two had to withdraw from Dubai, one of her favourite events, after surviving an attack in December 2016 that threatened her career when she sustained several deep cuts to her playing left hand.
She finally made her comeback at the French Open in May of last year, and after losing in the second round there she surprised and delighted everyone by winning the Birmingham title in just her second tournament back. Although she has not found the going easy, she beat Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza on her way to the quarter-finals of the US Open before losing in a third set tiebreak to Venus Williams.
The St Petersburg title is the second since her comeback, and the convincing win in the finals will give her confidence a boost as she heads back to Dubai and attempts to add her second Dubai title to her trophy cabinet.
“We are delighted to welcome one of our former champions back to Dubai,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “It is wonderful to see Petra Kvitova making such a strong comeback, and we wish her every success.”
Tournament Director Salah Tahlak added, “Petra Kvitova has demonstrated that she is a real champion off the court as well as on, and we are relieved that she has managed to make such a strong return to the game and that she is well on her way to re-claiming her rightful position at the top. We very much look forward to seeing her compete here again.”
Kvitova is part of a world-class field that includes four former world number ones. She will face strong competition as she joins Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, defending Dubai champion and recent Brisbane winner Elina Svitolina, 2018 Sydney champion and Australian Open semi-finalist Angelique Kerber, 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys, 2016 US Open finalist and former world number one Karolina Pliskova, 2018 St. Petersburg runner-up Kristina Mladenovic and Australian number one and 2018 Sydney finalist Ashleigh Barty.
Two weeks of spectacular entertainment begins with the WTA event which takes place 19th to 24th February, with the tournament continuing between 26th February and 3rd March with the 26th staging of the ATP World Tour event which includes ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov.