Kvitova overtakes Ostapenko to clinch Rothesay International title

Eastbourne, June 25 (IANS): Petra Kvitova charged former defending champion and No. 8 seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-2 to clinch the Rothesay International Championship and the 29th WTA singles title of her career here on Saturday.

With the victory, Kvitova, Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, is now 5-1 in the final on grass. The Czech’s only previous loss in a grass-court final came at Eastbourne in 2011, when she finished runner-up to Marion Bartoli in a clash between the eventual Wimbledon champions.

Former world No. 2 Kvitova won the first of her 29 titles in 2009; from then until now, the only player to win more singles titles on tour is Serena Williams, with 41 titles during that 13-year span.

The 32-year-old Czech becomes the fifth player over 30 to win a title this year, joining Simona Halep (Melbourne Summer Set 1), Angelique Kerber (Strasbourg), Tatjana Maria (Bogota) and Zhang Shuai (Lyon).

For her third game in a row, No. 14 seed Kvitova did not have her serve broken. The Czech has only faced one break point in each of her last two matches and in the final she was forced to erase five, all of which came in a marathon 12-minute match at 2-1 in the second set.

That game aside, it’s been generally smooth sailing for Kvitova, who hit 18 winners for just 12 unforced errors on the day.

Kvitova picked up her first singles title since her triumph in Doha in March 2021, 15 months ago. However, Ostapenko’s nine-game winning streak at Eastbourne came to an end.

Former French Open champion Ostapenko used her powerful groundstrokes well, hitting 21 winners for 19 unforced errors, but she never mastered Kvitova’s left-handed serve and was also broken three times.