SPORTS NEWS

Kvitova races into Birmingham final

Birmingham, June 23: Defending champion Petra Kvitova dispatched Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 6-2 with a powerful display to reach the final at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham on Saturday. The two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova is yet to drop a set this week as she continues her preparations for next month’s grasscourt Grand Slam. The result was Kvitova’s 51st career victory on the surface, and she overtakes top-ranked Simona Halep with a tour-leading 36 match wins this year.

“Amazing statistics this week,” Kvitova said. “I didn’t expect that from the beginning of the season. I didn’t really start well in Australia. So far this season is incredible, and I really can’t imagine a better season so far.”
Up next for Kvitova is 2009 winner Magdalena Rybarikova, who returns to the final with an impressive 7-6(1) 6-4 victory over Czech Barbora Strycova. The 29-year-old Slovakian came back from a break down in each set on the back of 24 winners over the course of one hour and 47 minutes. IANS