That sudden blast of air you felt earlier today was the collective sigh of relief exhaled by fans of Czech star Petra Kvitova--and perhaps by fans of the WTA in general. Finally getting herself on track, Kvitova won the Dubai title, beating Sara Errani 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 in the final. Yes, it's an odd scoreline, but this is Petra--what do you want?
Kvitova did "go off," as she is inclined to do, in the second set, but that wasn't the only chapter in the story. Errani, realizing she might not be around much longer, went all Italian on Kvitova in the second set, throwing everything she could think of at her--serve and volley, chip and charge, drop volley--the whole playbook. It worked, too. The tall Czech appeared flummoxed as her small Italian opponent kept moving forward, moving forward, and effectively taking away Kvitova's advantage.
The third set featured an appearance by first-set Kvitova, who ran her total of winners up to 46 (with 36 unforced errors). The news wasn't all good, however. She double-faulted eight times, and failed to diaplay the volleying brilliance we saw from her earlier in the tournament.
But enough nit-picking. Here's something very significant: Kvitova won the tournament in spite of her coach being absent. So some might say. I'm going to go with my gut, though, and say she won it because he wasn't there. Call it an "intuition." Call it an educated guess.
After the second set, the talented Czech didn't look too good, but she pulled herself together, and her self rewarded her. Something to think about, WTA.
One final thing....I'm posting this from my iPad, and somehow the annoying auto-correct function got turned on. As a result, the third sentence originally read "...it's an odd shoreline...." I kind of like that (auto-correct is a goldmine of metaphorical and Freudian slip-type things). For Kvitova, the tide went out, and then it rolled back, almost suddenly, with great force. Can it carry her all the way to California?
There was another final in Dubai today. Unseeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza won the doubles title, defeating 2nd seeds Katarina Srebotnik and Nadia Petrova 6-4, 2-6, 10-7. That second set was the only set Mattek-Sand and Mirza dropped during the tournament.
I miss the Mirza-Vesnina pairing, but in doubles, how well a team does appears to be only loosely related to whether that team continues to exist.