Fourth seed Petra Kvitova put on a master class to capture her first WTA title in almost two years on Saturday, cruising past Garbine Muguruza in 63 minutes, 6-2, 6-1, to win the WTA 500 event in Doha.
It was the two-time Wimbledon champion and former No. 2’s first title since Stuttgart in April 2019. She’s now an impressive 28-10 in finals, and has won 10 of her last 13 title matches.
“I missed the title last year, but still, I think it was a good season for me, overall,” Kvitova said.
“I’m glad that I was able to make it this year already, and every title is great.”
It was also Kvitova's second title in Doha, having won the event in 2018 when she also topped Muguruza in the final—that one was by a much closer 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 scoreline, though.
“I’m sorry for the second time,” Kvitova told the Spaniard during the trophy ceremony.
“It’s been a great run in Doha, for sure. It’s been a great whole week. I just feel like home a little bit—I love the court, I love everything, and the people are really friendly as well.”
The final looked like it would be tight early on as the two players held serve through 2-all in the first set, but from there it was all Kvitova, who won 10 of the next 11 games to run away with it.
“Today I think Petra played very well from the baseline, and it was hard to try to make her move, or try to do much,” Muguruza said. “It was very windy, as well. I mean, it really wasn’t my day, I guess.”
“The beginning of the first set was really tight,” Kvitova commented. “Especially those three games, it was up and down, but when I took her serve it felt better, of course, and I felt more relaxed.
“Beginning of the second set I didn’t feel the same way. I lost my serve quite quickly, and it was just about getting on the board again. To break her in the second game was really the key. Then I just found the rhythm and was putting a lot of balls back to the court, and putting her under pressure.”
After losing their first career meeting in the round robin stage of the 2015 WTA Finals, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, Kvitova has now beaten Muguruza the last five times they've played to lead the head-to-head, 5-1.
Kvitova was asked about the mutual respect she and Muguruza have for each other on the tour.
“Well, of course she’s a champion. She’s a two-time Grand Slam champion, former No. 1. And definitely she deserves the respect,” Kvitova said of Muguruza. “Even if she couldn’t win it, she is a big player and big champion, anyway. That’s how it is. We met many times already. I think we know each other pretty long from the tour, and it’s just very natural, so I’m really glad how the relationship is and that we showed respect to each other, and that we had another great final, and great match.”
It was also the Czech’s 20th career match win in Doha, the first woman to reach that milestone. She had previously been tied for the record with Svetlana Kuznetsova and Caroline Wozniacki at 19.