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Kvitova Extends Streak to 14, Downs Putintseva

Thursday, March 9, 2018 - __ plays __ in the __ of the BNP Paribas Open in at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Matthew Thomas/BNP Paribas Open)

by Melissa Isaacson
03/09/2018

Petra Kvitova continued her march back to the WTA elite she once enjoyed, equaling the longest win streak of her career with a dramatic 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-4 victory over Yulia Putintseva in Friday’s second-round at the BNP Paribas Open.

But it was hardly a match to be celebrated for the two-time Wimbledon champ, who overcame a whopping 78 unforced errors and 18 double faults. The 3-hour, 17-minute slugfest was the 14th straight match win for Kvitova and ended with the emotional Putintseva, who has now lost her last six matches against Czech players, smashing her racket to the court on Kvitova’s second match point.

The three-hour, 17-minute slugfest was the 14th straight match win for Kvitova and ended with the emotional Putintseva, who has now lost her last six matches against Czech players, smashing her racket to the court on Kvitova’s second match point.

Kvitova, who won Wimbledon titles in 2011 and 2014, recently returned to the Top 10 for the first time since a frightening December 2016 home invasion and knife attack that inflicted tendon and nerve damage and required emergency surgery to her serving hand.

The lefthander was out of action for a shorter period than most predicted, returning in May at the French Open, where she won her first-round match and was stopped again in the second round of Wimbledon. But Kvitova defeated No. 3 seed Garbine Muguruza en route to the quarterfinals at the US Open, and has been on a tear in 2018, winning the Qatar Open last month, again beating Muguruza, this time in the final, to reenter the Top 10.

Kvitova, the No. 9 seed in Indian Wells, where the 28-year-old has never advanced beyond the semifinals in seven tries, has now defeated six Top-10 players this year. But on Friday, against the 81st-ranked player in the world, she fought through sloppiness, at one point late in the second set holding an inauspicious 58-13 lead in unforced errors.

Kvitova, the No. 9 seed in Indian Wells, where the 28-year-old has never advanced beyond the semifinals in seven tries, has now defeated six Top 10 players this year. But Friday, against the 81st-ranked player in the world, she fought through sloppiness, at one point late in the second set holding an inauspicious 58-13 lead in unforced errors.

Among the other second-round winners Friday were No. 5 Karolina Pliskova, with a 7-6(4), 6-1 victory over Irina-Camelia Begu, No. 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko, who defeated Belinda Bencic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, No. 17 American CoCo Vandeweghe, who eliminated Kaia Kanepi 6-0, 7-6(6), Kristina Mladenovic, who beat Samantha Stosur 7-5, 7-5, and Naomi Osaka, who defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-2.

 

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