Sydney, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) – Petra Kvitova captured her first title
of 2015 with a straight-set victory over fellow Czech Karolina Pliskova in
Friday’s final of the Sydney International.
The second-seeded Kvitova gutted out a pair of tiebreakers to earn a 7-6
(7-5), 7-6 (8-6) victory, claiming her 15th career title and third in
Kvitova previously won Australian Open tune-up crowns in 2009 at Hobart and
2011 at Brisbane. She has struggled somewhat in the opening Grand Slam event
of the year, however, with four exits before the third round and a semifinal
finish in 2012 her best result in six tries.
The last two visits to Melbourne have been particularly rough, a second-round
setback in 2013 and a stunning first-round loss last year against Luksika
Kumkhum. She will face a qualifier in the first round next week.
Pliskova fell to 3-4 all-time in WTA finals. She reached five title matches
last year, winning twice, and is expected to move into the top-20 for the
first time when the new rankings are released next week.
A qualifier is also on the first-round schedule for Pliskova next week.
Kvitova improved to 2-0 lifetime against Pliskova, also winning last year in
Wuhan, China, and she earned a first prize of $124,000.