Friday, January 16, 2015

Kvitova and Watson win titles in final Australian Open preparation events

Petra Kvitova won her 15th WTA title this weekend as she defeated countrywoman Karolina Pliskova 7-6, 7-6 in a beautifully played final in Sydney. Kvitova hit 38 winners to 30 unforced errors, and she was successful at the net 14 of 16 times. She also hit 9 aces (Pliskova hit 7). The match featured some very hard hitting, but also plenty of nuance and strategy. Pliskova was as fine an opponent as Kvitova could have, and getting the edge over the rising Czech star was the best preparation for Melbourne the world number 4 could want.

In Hobart, Heather Watson took the title without dropping a set. Watson beat Madison Brengle in the final, but--despite being the runner-up--Brengle has a reason to feel good: This was her first WTA final.

The Hobart title is Watson's second in singles. She also won Osaka in 2012. She and Great Britain's other top player, Laura Robson, have both struggled considerably with illness and injury in the last couple of years.

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